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Leading the Enterprise IT Community

New SHARE president looks to keep group as the mainframe resource of record

10/1/2014 5:58:28 AM | During the SHARE in Pittsburgh event this August, new leadership was elected. James Vincent with Nationwide Insurance was elected as new president. View a full list of SHARE leadership. Vincent recently took time to talk with Destination z about SHARE’s role in enterprise IT and the mainframe's place in business.

Q: What previous positions and experience have you had with SHARE?
A: I have been attending SHARE for over 20 years and have been serving in various volunteer roles almost since the beginning. While SHARE offers great technical content for its attendees, I find the ability to learn and practice management and leadership skills particularly rewarding. Many of the leadership skills that I have honed are extremely valuable to my employer and I would not have had the opportunity had it not been for my SHARE volunteer work.

Q: What prompted you to run for president of SHARE?
A: I believe that my leadership skills can help drive SHARE forward. I want to steer a course that keeps SHARE at the forefront of the IT industry and leads SHARE toward success.

Q: During your term as president, what are SHARE’s goals and priorities?
A: Our biggest goal is to keep SHARE as the resource that our member companies turn to when they need information and guidance on what is happening in enterprise IT computing.

SHARE has amassed hundreds of presentations in our Proceedings, the last nine years of which are available online. We also have over 200 hours of recorded sessions available to our SHARE Select members. We are also collecting materials for our archives, which document the impact of the user community on the industry over the past six decades.

Q: Where do you see technology going in the near future?
A: Technology will continue to be the tool that businesses use to deliver value to their customers, as well as insights to their decision makers. The demands of the consumer will drive technology to respond faster, with greater analysis, at lower costs.

Q: What are the biggest challenges with the mainframe, and how might they be addressed?
A: One of the biggest challenges facing the mainframe is highlighting the advantages the mainframe provides in new technology initiatives—making sure that the mainframe is seen as continuing to play a role in providing value to consumers. Part of the challenge is getting people to understand that the mainframe really still is a vital part of enterprise IT. Part of the challenge is overcoming misperceptions about the mainframe’s cost and obsolescence. We addressed that in a paper ["Don't Believe the Myth-Information About the Mainframe"] last year. 

Another issue for any company is having the right conversation with business leaders. We need to change the conversation from a technology discussion to a business discussion. We need to talk about the value of the mainframe in terms of what the consumer receives: reliability, availability, performance, security, scalability. Our plan is to arm our member delegates with the tools they need to have that conversation.

Q: What advice would you give students or people new to the mainframe community?
A: Establish relationships with others involved with enterprise IT. We believe there is great value in face-to-face discussions and building lasting relationships, both with peers who are trying to solve similar problems as well as with vendors who have detailed knowledge of their solutions. SHARE was built on the premise that sharing experiences, both good and bad, helps the entire community grow stronger.

Q: What is in store for SHARE in 2015?
A: 2015 will be the 60th anniversary year for SHARE. We have a lot to be proud of as we look back on how we have shaped the enterprise IT industry. More importantly, we have some significant challenges ahead as we reinforce the critical role the user community serves in providing unbiased, real-world insight and best practices to our member companies.

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