Planet Mainframe News

Hot Topics at 68-year old Mainframe Conference: SHARE 2023

This year’s SHARE conference took place in New Orleans between August 13-18. Created in 1955 as a means of learning about and networking within the mainframe space, the conference continues to draw mainframers together to collectively celebrate and influence the state of the mainframe industry.  

Jason Bloomberg, writing for The Silicon Angle, reported on the top three hot topics that emerged throughout the conference, namely:

  • Modernization, and specifically, modernization of the platform itself. Updating and renewing old code was a key topic of conversation, as well as the tools and processes that facilitate the process.
  • Resilience was a second major theme, focusing on the issues of ransomware and quick recovery from ransomware attacks. Another topic of conversation was the Digital Operational Resilience Act, or DORA, set to go into effect in Europe in January 2024, which will require organizations to implement resilience strategies.
  • And lastly….fun. According to the article, attracting and retaining the next generation of new-tenure professionals is going to require more than just lucrative salaries. Bloomberg cites Rosalind Radcliffe, a well-known mainframe thought leader, IBM Fellow, and CIO DevSecOps CTO, who made this point succinctly. “We’ve got to be bringing joy to our work,”

Next year’s SHARE conference will be taking place in Orlando, March 3-7, 2024.

Source: The Silicon Angle

IBM Unveils watsonx Generative AI Mainframe Modernization

IBM has just unveiled a new product, watsonx Code Assistant for Z, which will use generative AI to help transform and update COBOL code into Java. The technology is explicitly aimed at making the process of modernizing critical applications on the IBM Z mainframe faster and more efficient.

Launching sometime during Q4 2023, watsonx Code Assistant for Z will be one of the largest AI models created for automating code-related tasks. It is based on a powerful large language model for code, with a staggering 20 billion parameters and, according to IBM, the product will have knowledge of 115 coding languages having learned from 1.5 trillion tokens.

In its announcement, IBM cited new research from the IBM Institute for Business Value indicating that organizations are 12x more likely to leverage existing mainframe assets rather than rebuild their application estates from scratch in the next two years. At the same time, however, the study shows that the primary challenge for those same organizations is a lack of resources and skills.

Kareem Yusuf, Senior Vice President, Product Management and Growth at IBM Software, noted that bringing generative AI capabilities through watsonx to new use cases will drive progress for the company’s clients: 

“IBM is engineering watsonx Code Assistant for Z to take a targeted and optimized approach. It’s built to mitigate the risk of modernization while converting code optimized for IBM Z, accelerating time to market and broadening the skills pool. This is designed to help enhance applications and add new capabilities while preserving the performance, resiliency, and security inherent in IBM Z,” Yusuf said.

A preview of the product will be provided during the TechXchange event in Las Vegas from September 11 to 13. IBM has also posted a product demonstration on YouTube.

Source: IBM

IBM Z Day: October 18, 2023

IBM Z Day is a free, one-day enterprise computing virtual conference taking place October 18. The conference offers the latest news on IBM Z and LinuxONE as well as a lineup of 180 global thought leaders who will highlight industry trends and innovation spanning Hybrid Cloud, AI, Quantum-safe security, and more.

There are five conference tracks to choose from:

  • IBM Z
  • App Modernization
  • AI & Data
  • Sustainability
  • IBM Z Skills Acceleration

The one-day conference offers an opportunity to connect, learn, and be inspired. You’ll have the chance to learn about what’s brewing in the IBM labs, hear from community members as they share experiences, and learn how to adopt a hybrid cloud infrastructure that integrates data and AI for real-time insights. This is both an opportunity to accelerate your digital transformation and modernization journey and hear what’s on the minds of thought leaders. 

Source: IBM

Sonja Soderlund is an Oregon-based B2B freelance writer. Whether writing about mainframe computers, educational technology, or sustainable retail, she strives to bring clarity to complex issues. Connect with her at or LinkedIn.