There’s much discord in the minds of most people when they think of using z Systems for Social Business. However, what comes to my mind is a memorable line from the classic marching band movie “Drumline”. In this movie, the music director, Dr. Lee uses the phrase “one band, one sound” to highlight the unity that can arise even among the different cultures within the band. The director had to work with a diverse group of individuals with varying skill sets and somehow manage to mesh the strengths of the group together. Furthermore, the director had to broaden his own beliefs and assumptions in order to succeed.

This message is still resonant with me as I think of the relationship between z Systems and Social Business. The majority of the people who focus on z Systems are individuals who have a mentality that is built upon more traditional ways of working. A perfect example of this is the love of the 3270 user interface versus the newer graphical user interfaces. The term “social” to this group is usually synonymous with a younger demographic (i.e. their children). However, Social Business has developed into a ‘hot topic’ within information technology, yet within the z System community there is an overall lack of adoption.

Similar to “Drumline”, there’s an immediate need for the two generations to learn from each other and become “one band”. If individuals are willing to step outside of their comfort zone to adapt and evolve we (as a z System community) can advance. The veterans of z Systems need to be willing to learn and use the new technologies that can improve their productivity and team communication. Whereas, the millennials need to understand the traditions that created the foundation of the business practice in order to understand how Social Business can further increase growth. If we both are willing not only to be teachers, but to also be students, we will see immediate growth as we learn from one another so that together we can achieve the ultimate goal of “one band, one sound”.

Curators Note: Dexter Doyle who can be found on Twitter @DoyleKnows is the author of this blog post, and I suggest you check out his Twitter feed for a great perspective on all things mainframe.  Thanks Dexter for writing this post and it proves the power of social, we have been following each other on Twitter for a while and had a good first face-to-face discussion based on our online interactions.  Hopefully more to come from Dexter…