Averting Long-term Impacts of the IMS Skills Shortage

Amidst the broader skills shortage occurring in mainframe development, IT organizations face a more acute skills shortage for IBM’s Information Management System (IMS) environments. The IMS skills shortage is putting companies at risk of losing their ability to maintain and advance critical code residing in those environments.  

The Loss of Expert Knowledge

Decades-old IMS environments are large and complex. Maintaining, extending, testing and deploying mission-critical IMS applications requires a capacious understanding of how IMS environments function, along with an esoteric skill set that has been cultivated over the course of many years.

As IMS experts near the end of their careers, there’s a scarcity of next-generation developers who are trained and educated to easily surmount the IMS learning curve. The time it takes to learn the ins-and-outs of longstanding IMS applications is expensive and not without risk.

Many short-staffed IMS teams are beginning to face growing business disruptions that result in growing work backlogs. Additionally, companies are struggling to quickly provide enough new IMS development and testing environments to meet the demands of new initiatives. Subsequently, the failure to deliver application enhancements in a timely manner can have negative effects on the enterprise, leaving it open to competitive pressure or being late to comply with regulatory requirements.

Growing the IMS Development Workforce

Companies would be better served using Compuware’s innovative solutions for IMS development and support environments to extend and future-proof their IMS workforce.

Compuware’s solutions—hosted within a modern, Eclipse-based IDE—are designed to minimize training requirements and improve developer productivity. They make it easy to support IMS applications and mitigate the effects of the IMS skills shortage by helping developers:

  • Visualize and understand:
    • Complex data structures in IMS applications
    • Complex program relationships/call chains in IMS applications
    • Full program analysis with structure charts, flow diagrams and data flow analysis
  • Interactively debug code running in IMS online and batch processing environments
  • Collect code coverage statistics to validate testing effectiveness
  • Generate virtualized application development and testing environments for IMS

Compuware’s innovative solutions help next-generation developers, regardless of how much IMS or mainframe development experience they have, get up to speed and become productive more quickly. They can also boost the productivity of existing IMS developers.  

Read the data sheet to learn how Compuware’s solutions can help you end your company’s IMS skills shortage and continue advancing the critical data and business applications contained within those environments. 

Review the data sheet > Read the blog post >

 IMS Skills Shortage Graphic