Angus: Modernization ain’t new…

There has been a recent resurgence in the interest in modernization, mostly because a lot of IT organizations seem to have finally caught up to the last serious vendor-push of a few years back. It bodes well for our industry, especially since the majority of modernization requests seem to be related to reusing and leveraging existing IT assets – including business logic, applications, and platform. Maybe it is time to write a focused modernization blog – more on that to come.

In the meantime, ponder this. Many people have spread the myth that native GUI was not available for our platform, causing droves to escape the tyranny of GUI-less applications for lesser hardware, software and applications. To counter this complete and utter myth, I give you this front page from July 28, 1995!

Midrange Computing July 28, 1995

Relevant title: “The Final Word on GUIs”. Let the laughter subside to a reasonable level…

3 Comments

BobAugust 7th, 2011 at 1:24 pm

“There has been a recent resurgence in the interest in modernization”
What is this basis for this assertion, please qualify & quantify, please?

“especially since the majority of modernization requests seem to be related to reusing and leveraging existing IT assets ”
What is the source of the cited requets?

“Maybe it is time to write a focused modernization blog”
What do you mean by “focused”?
To me focused means independant expert opinion & non-aligned contributions without fear or favour. If you are serious about this am happy to contribute!

angustheitchapAugust 7th, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Bob,

It is great that you watch my blog, I am flattered. It seems, however, that you wish to hold me accountable to you, rather than to my customers and industry audience. Addressing your questions is one thing, being held to some standard you have established without telling me is another. For today, I will answer your questions, because it may add value to my readers.

Question 1: “What is this basis for this assertion, please qualify & quantify, please?”
This is not an assertion, this is my perspective of the industry, based on my activity ~in~ the industry. Several recent events have contributed to confirm my feeling that this was becoming a trend.

First, a business partner of a modernization software company held a small modernization information event where some mid- to large- IBM i customers were invited. I was invited to speak, and attended in person. Without exception, the customers were all looking to modernize their legacy and heritage applications. They all spoke of this being the time to do it, based on several factors – including business requirements, economic situation, and even pent-up-demand for modern applications deployed to modern environments, including mobile.

Second, I spoke at the OCEAN conference a couple of weeks ago on two subjects directly unrelated to I.T., and more personal and professional development. An overwhelming number of questions asked were about how to modernize developer skills, so they could participate in modernization projects, having noticed that the demand for skilled staff for modernization projects has increased recently. I spoke at length with several vendors and developers attending the conference and the expo, and from those conversations discovered that modernization was a trending topic.

Third, I spoke to a local user group in the northeast, where I asked the attendees why they would attend a session titled “Tactical Modernization”. They all were interested in the modernization part of the session, because their companies had begun, or were looking for direction to begin, modernization projects.

Fourth, I am engaged in many modernization projects each week. Recently, the volume of projects has increased dramatically, and the attention paid to these projects has increased their visibility and importance to I.T. organizations and the business to which they belong.

Fifth, I have recently written articles on modernization in various forms, and have been asked for more. My colleagues in the industry who are engaged in this activity have noticed a higher demand for modernization information and articles. While modernization has been a staple of the IBM i industry for some time, especially from the vendor community, the “recent resurgence” to which I refer has been visible among the customer community and the press.

The short answer to your question, is that I have experienced this resurgence personally. Which is why I wrote about it in ~my~ blog – the one that is subtitled “Delivering opinion at the speed of the web”.

Question 2: “What is the source of the cited requets (sic)?”
From the same exposure to the industry that I have had by being engaged in the industry, my conversations with IBM i customers has led to this opinion. The tendency of companies throwing out the IBM i platform and replacing current application solutions seems to have subsided, and more IBM i companies want to leverage much of their existing applications, especially the core business logic that runs their operations.

Question 3: “What do you mean by “focused”?”
By focused, I mean focused on the topic. This blog tends to be opinion on varied topics, rather than focusing on modernization, so a blog focused on just the topic of modernization seems to be timely.

You also say: “To me focused means independant (sic) expert opinion & non-aligned contributions without fear or favour.”
Thanks for your perspective. I am regularly invited to speak and write on modernization because of my independence and non-aligned sessions. I expect you have not recently attended one. Maybe you have been getting most of your perspective of my approach from this blog, which is not aligned to anything other than a passion for IBM i. However, if you read anything else I write, or watch any of my presentations, you would expect I would continue that independence.

You also offer: “If you are serious about this am happy to contribute!”
Thanks for the offer. I will definitely be looking for coherent independent perspectives on modernization that provide information and clarity. I am not in the business of editing, so I will be looking for articles and entries that support modernization without adding confusion. If you think you are up to that task, email me your thoughts.

Thanks,
Trevor

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