IBM CEO Ginni Rometty on IBM Z and the Future of Mainframe

The mainframe has been around for more than 50 years, but it’s time is now.

That was the message shared by IBM Chairman, President and CEO Ginni Rometty with conference attendees at this month’s SHARE Providence event. In her keynote address – which you can watch in full below – Ginni talked about the present and future of the mainframe, explaining how the new IBM Z system is built to meet the demands of the digital era.

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Watch the full video above or at this link to hear her full comments.

“This is the era where data is the new natural resource, but more than anything, it’s the basis of [a company’s] competitive advantage,” she said.

The mainframe is an integral part of many different data-driven use cases, including blockchain, the cloud, the mobile and digital economy, and emerging technologies like machine learning.

At the conclusion of this session, Harry Williams, SHARE President and CEO, added, “It’s why IBM keeps investing in its future for as long as the eye can see.”

The new IBM Z takes a major leap forward in processing power to support those use cases, Ginni explained. Importantly, IBM Z is also built for premium security. Fully end-to-end encryption means that it’s the only system available that encrypts all of its data, all the time, with no changes needed to the application and no impact to performance.

Ginni also touched on IBM and SHARE’s creation of Lead IT, a mainframe apprenticeship program that aims to increase the number of underrepresented minorities and women in the field. The initiative allows new mainframers the chance to “earn while they learn,” with on-the-job training for a career in the Z ecosystem.

These “new collar” jobs will be “vital to the success of the mainframe in the future,” said Ginni, who encouraged enterprises to get involved with mainframe apprenticeship if they haven’t already.

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