Business Aligns With IT At Midwestern Tech Conference
May 5, 2014 Dan Burger
Continuing education and training programs for IT personnel seems like a no-brainer. The benefits seem obvious. And even more obvious are the disadvantages of an IT staff that has fallen behind the technical advancements that start-up companies have in place. That’s a competitive advantage that creates risk for businesses that allow IT skills to stagnate.
We hear a lot about the importance of aligning IT with business goals. Business goals are a moving target and IT skills are, too.
There are significant number of IBM midrange shops in the Midwest, and more than 100 or so should be sending people to the Michigan IBM i and AIX Technical Education Conference, an annual event that is one of the top technical conferences in the nation. Attendees are mainly from Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. Local user groups in those areas deserve a great deal of the credit of funneling IT staff to the event. They network with the IBM i shops to get the word out, but the message about training and education must need a louder voice.
If you don’t understand what I’m saying, I’ll just speak louder. That works, right?
In reality, no, turning up the volume doesn’t work that well. Awareness is important, but understanding the value is more important. Tech conferences, like MITEC, are an excellent value. It’s the first step in aligning business objectives with IT capabilities.
MITEC offers two days’ worth of training. The first day involves two courses of in-depth study on topics that have shown to be of great interest to IBM i shops: the modern application development toolset known as Rational Developer for IBM i and the graphical user interface technology known as PHP. Each is a full-day session presented by excellent instructors–Charles Guarino for RDi and Mike Pavlak for PHP. Participants in these sessions bring home a greater subject matter understanding than can be obtained from one-hour sessions or reading a book. There’s “take it home and use it” value here.
For a broader scope of topics that IBM i shops should be aware of, the second day at MITEC includes the presentation of more than 50 sessions covering topics such as system architecture, application development, system administration, mobile applications, SQL, business intelligence, system upgrades and performance monitoring, backup and recovery, PHP for i, and project management. Attendees learn about workflow processes, cost reductions, staff efficiencies, and how to better align IT with business objectives.
The list of instructors is top notch. These are people who know their subject, understand how to deliver information, and inspire individuals to accomplish more in their roles as IBM i, AIX, and Power Systems professionals.
The conference is held at the VisTaTech Center, a state of the art facility for training, business meetings, and corporate events located in Livonia, Michigan. The center is 25 minutes from the Detroit Metro Airport.
Local user groups that are sponsoring this event include the Southeast Michigan iSeries User Group ((SEMiUG), the West Michigan IBM i User Groups (WMSUG), STATUS (Northeastern Indiana), the Mid-Range Michiana Users Group (MRMUG, and the North West Ohio Midrange Users Group (NWOMUG).
For additional details, see the conference website at www.gomitec.com.