Reader Feedback On RPG OA: Open Opportunity And IBM’s Q4
February 3, 2014 Hey, IBM
Sorry, you are stuck in a green screen world because you let yourselves be duped that the PC and Unix way were the wave of the future. Green screen created by DDS was quite innovative in its day and it made interactive programming simple for IBM shops–20 or 30 years ago–with RPG when other companies struggled and could not create anything close to this one-time elegant and always simple user interface provided by the notion of a display file.
IBM had a winner and chose to hang its hat on Java and PHP and tools for application development, and so now with 50 ways to leave your lover, DDS is still what most shops have in their code inventory. A natural and native, integrated, system-level user interface change has been in order for years and years. But, IBM did not invest in a solid plan. If it had, then all languages including RPG could be fitted with a web option using the new OS system interface.
Fifty ways to do something was never a coherent strategy, yet it has been the non-strategy for too many years. S/34, S/36, S/38, AS/400, System i, and now IBM i began or carried on an integrated yet now archaic user interface strategy. IBM chose not to invest in a new system-level user interface and so now it simply has confusion with more and more shops contemplating all of the 50 different ways to leave your lover.
Thanks for yet another incredibly perceptive article.
“That said, none of this is good for IBM’s top brass, many of whom come from the services and software side of the business and who are not as enamored of hardware as they might otherwise be. To which I would say this: Be very careful, International Business Machines. It still takes hardware to sell all that software. Maybe IBM will just sell off everything, including its fabs and server lines, and just become a reseller of Dell or Lenovo iron. Maybe that is what it craves, to just be out of the hardware business, which is a very tough business indeed. But it doesn’t have to be. People will pay a premium for a premium product, and that is an engineering and manufacturing issue to think of that product and make it profitably.”
While at IBM as a Systems Engineer in 1976, I and another SE co-authored ABS/370 using CICS, which IBM is still selling today. CICS was bought by IBM from a large insurance company. Fifty percent of IBM revenue is software revenue which is mostly from ancient design and is today deficient and dependent on old iron and design of the 1950s.
If the cognitive solution Depends (pun intended) on putting a WI-FI probes in Pampers to be a success, it will be competing with many huge and successful companies including Honeywell (remember the H200?), which now has half the revenue of IBM.
IBM is unwilling to embrace huge opportunities in IT, such as Real-Time Program Auditing, as it protects failing technologies and dreams about improbable success.
If you look at the biographies of all of the IBM senior vice presidents, they have virtually all more than 30 years with IBM, and will retire with fat benefits within five years regardless of how well IBM does in the future, as have so many of the SVPs before them.