The curtain is set to go up on the annual SHARE conference in Baltimore from Aug. 13-18, where service-oriented architecture and security are at the top of the agenda for the venerable IBM systems user group.
“There is a complete SOA track. But its more than the technology. Its about your business process. To have a successful application or enterprise you have to take a look at how you run the business,” said Robert Rosen, president of SHARE and an eWEEK Corporate Partner.
Rosen said some SHARE sessions will deal with the ramifications of mixing SOA and grid computing.
Rosen is concluding his term at the helm of the group and likely will be succeeded by Martin Timmerman, director of computing systems services at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
Security, always a pressing issue, has taken on additional importance this year in the wake of the lapse in data security at the United States Veterans Administration, in which a laptop computer containing information on 26 million veterans was stolen.
“Sometimes it takes getting a lot of things in the press to get people to wake up. Bosses are talking about security,” said Rosen.
In addition, new security guidelines from the federal Office of Management and Budget are causing concern for IT people who work for the government, he said.
IBM usually sends high-level executives to the meeting. This year, IBM veteran Al Zollar, general manager of IBMs Tivoli unit, will speak.
IBM is also sending executives to speak about the zNextGen project, a community of mainframe experts seeking to educate a younger generation of IT professionals, on which IBM is collaborating with SHARE members.
In addition, a Microsoft executive will give a presentation about migration to Windows Vista, the next version of Windows, which is due in early 2007.
“Microsoft is heavily pushing migration—how to migrate from mainframes to Windows Server,” said Rosen.
Rosen said the management of software assets will also be addressed.
“People think theyre spending too much on software, and they want to get a handle on it. People have been buying software for a long time, but only recently have people been taking it seriously. They want to treat it like any other valuable asset in the corporation, and they want to find ways to save money.”
As usual, SHARE will host sessions on career development for its members.
“Theres the soft skills stuff to address areas that we in the tech area are really bad at, such as how to influence people and how to sell technology,” said Rosen.
Several sessions will focus on “skills modernization,” said Rosen, including adapting skills for a blended mainframe-Windows environment, he said.