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AveriSource mainframe modernization at SHARE Orlando 2024
All Blog Posts

4 min read

Mainframes, Microbrews, and Modernization at SHARE Orlando 2024

With SHARE Orlando 2024 in the rearview mirror—and SHARE Kansas City 2024 on the horizon—let's take a look back at the highlights from the premier mainframe technology and educational event. The massive meeting of the minds at the Rosen Centre in sunny Orlando drew hundreds of attendees from around the world for technical sessions, networking, and of course, the infamous SHARE Technology Exchange where the AveriSource team connected with mainframers throughout the five-day conference. While we had countless conversations and experiences throughout the mainframe-focused conference, here's a snapshot of just a few of the highlights.

Mainframe Milestones

Sixty years on, the mainframe continues to deliver value for many enterprise organizations. New advancements such as integration with AI and cloud enable mainframe applications to fully participate in digital transformation initiatives. As the system of record for many large banks, insurers, data processors and government agencies, these applications are significant, measuring in the millions of lines of code. What's most important now is that IT leaders can build a flexible and adaptive strategy for change which prepares these mainframe systems for the next generation in application modernization and transformation.

And, in just a few short months, we'll be celebrating another birthday: COBOL is turning 65(!) having received its "official" name on September 18, 1959. Also, in case you're wondering: The mainframe birthday cake was as good as it looked!

🎂 The SHARE event planners went all out with their mainframe 60th birthday cake! 🎂

Be There or Be Square

It was great to see so many familiar faces within the mainframe community at SHARE Orlando. It was also encouraging to see such a positive turnout of fellow mainframe enthusiasts. The first night of the SHARE Technology Exchange was fantastic with so many positive modernization conversations, demos, and stories. Having been to many SHARE events in the past, it was exciting to see the elevated interest in mainframe modernization from the attending delegates.

It's also clear that mainframe modernization—influenced by AI—is changing the priorities for many IT shops and accelerating many previously stagnant or delayed modernization projects. Judging by the multitude of conversations we had with users, now is certainly the time to modernize mainframe applications.

⛳️ The AveriSource booth at SHARE Orlando 2024 complete with golf towels and rain poncho keychains. ⛳️

Better Together

Like peanut butter and jelly, mainframes and microbrews are the perfect combination. Always one to support local businesses, the AveriSource team hosted our SHARE Happy Hour at Half Barrel Beer Project just minutes from the conference venue. In between prize drawings, incredible food and over an "AveriSource Ale," I had an interesting conversation with four attendees at the event that Tuesday evening.

This particular group of developers from a large government and military contractor, shared that they continue to rely on legacy applications and languages to support many mission-critical systems. While most were programming low-level systems using C++ or Assembly, they did reveal that COBOL—and even ADA—were prominently used across the group. This was perhaps not too surprising to me as this is often the case with larger IT shops that have historically leveraged mainframe computing. We'll likely help them dive into the details of how to analyze and understand these applications in the near future—hopefully back in sunny Orlando being a New Englander!

🦖 "AveriSource Ale" coasters and a cheeky 65th "birthday card" for COBOL designed by Jenny Allen, AveriSource's Director of Marketing and blog Managing Editor. 🦖

Talking Shop

From many delegates, we heard that the mainframe remains a strategic platform for future business initiatives—and the IT objective was to better manage the legacy applications running in that environment. Fully understanding the application estate also continues to be a challenge for many architects, developers, and application owners.

That said, mapping change or building a modernization plan is often fraught with complexity, cost, and risk. For most IT shops, simplifying this picture isn't easy. A few conversations that stood out were with large mainframe shops desiring to optimize their legacy code, reduce technical debt and improve quality and performance. For application estates measured in the millions of lines of code, the cost savings from such a rationalization exercise could be sizable and open new doors for future innovation. It was certainly clear that right-sizing the application codebase was certainly a priority for many larger mainframe organizations attending SHARE Orlando.

🍻 Chatting mainframes over microbrews at the AveriSource SHARE Orlando Happy Hour at Half Barrel Beer Project. 🍻

Knowledge Transfer

I spent some time with many great mainframe partners in Orlando and it was fantastic to see the team at The Futurum Group. I enjoyed catching up with TFG’s Steven Dickens, as always, and we even shot an in-person video interview discussing the value of AI-powered mainframe modernization with AveriSource.

We'll be sharing that video soon along with some new educational materials for those considering how to leverage AI in support of their mainframe modernization journey. Stay tuned for the latest news and updates on our LinkedIn page.

🎥 Lights, camera, ACTION! Steven Dickens of The Futurum Group and I had a fantastic on-camera interview at the AveriSource booth between sessions. 🎥

From the Podium

Thanks to all those who joined us for our Partner Sponsored Session, "AI-Powered Mainframe Modernization with AveriSource." We had a great presentation and crowd for our demo of the AveriSource Platform™️. There was a ton of positive engagement—so much that we weren't able to fully complete our product demonstrations! Thankfully, many of our session discussions carried over to the STE expo later that evening as attendees returned to our booth for a deeper dive into the AveriSource Platform led by our always charismatic Solutions Director, Stephen Hodges. If you missed the demonstration or session, you can catch up on the details by watching this short video.

Reach out to myself or Stephen via LinkedIn or email, and we'll be happy to set up a call.

🙋 Stephen Hodges, Director of Solutions, fielding questions at our session, "AI-Powered Mainframe Modernization with AveriSource." 🙋

That's a Wrap!

We can't wait for SHARE Kansas City and the opportunity to continue the mainframe modernization conversation. We'll have new sessions and demos ready for the mainframe community enabling them to accelerate their application modernization journey—on the mainframe and in the cloud. In the meantime, subscribe to our blog newsletter for mainframe modernization resources, product updates, and industry news delivered straight to your inbox.

🙌 A massive thanks to the SHARE events team for putting on another successful conference. See everyone in Kansas City later this summer! 🙌

💻 Ready to start your modernization journey today? Download AveriSource Scan, our free codebase assessment tool.

🗓️ Curious to see the AveriSource Platform in action? Set up a demo with our team of mainframe modernization experts.

Ed is a senior marketing executive with over 20 years of experience in the application modernization market. With a primary focus on digital transformation within the mainframe and midrange systems space, he leads the go-to-market effort at AveriSource. Ed brings a proven track record across many marketing disciplines including strategy, digital and demand generation, community engagement, analyst relations, strategic partnerships, and product marketing. He earned his MBA at Southern New Hampshire University, where he also holds Master of Science degrees in both Operations Management and Leadership. Ed also acts as a spokesperson and evangelist for application modernization and future skill development within the enterprise and academic community.

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