CA Gen trends for 2013 – Jumar’s predictions

Now that we’re a month into 2013, and the dust has settled after the annual whirlwind that is January, we thought we’d take stock of what’s in store for the rest of 2013. We have, therefore, polished our CA Gen crystal ball to see what the future may hold.

future button from ms word

To do this, we’ll start by reflecting on the last few months, which have been significant for Jumar and our customers. Our expansion into Asia-Pacific is continuing to gather pace, and a number of exciting new projects are beginning, with many getting underway in the first few days of this year. A good basis on which to start our prediction.

First – a little look back

In 2012 Jumar undertook major CA Gen related projects to:

  • transition a European Government finance body’s IT architecture to allow it to exploit the latest technologies
  • facilitate one of the world’s largest companies’ plans to migrate from CA Gen to COBOL
  • upgrade a number of global organisations to CA Gen v8.0 (including Government departments, a major telecoms provider and some of the UK’s biggest household names). Its approach to automation not only saved many (sometimes thousands of) hours compared to a manual process, but its assessment service also allowed that upgrade to take place with maximum confidence
  • provide training to Government and corporate organisations (across all levels from basic CA Gen training to regular specialist academies)

…and that’s just the start of it. We’ve also helped an international insurance organisation to transition .NET and other applications, delivering on-time and in-scope using Agile development techniques. Another significant project was a web-based java project for a governmental transport body.

We could go on – but this is supposed to be about the future, not the past.

Futurethinking from ms word

So what are our CA Gen predictions for 2013?

As our portfolio of CA Gen-related services continues to expand yet further, we find ourselves deploying them into new sectors and territories globally – particularly Asia Pac. But just what sort of CA Gen activity do we expect to see over the next twelve months?

There’s a lot of value in CA Gen systems The over-riding buzz we get from the community is that many users are still very much pro-CA Gen, and we’re seeing a significant upturn in customers modernising their CA Gen portfolio. This allows them to continue to exploit the benefits which already exist in their existing systems – and the trend seems to be to use re-platforming as a way of modernising their environments. Whilst each organisation has its own motivations for modernisation, these typically include:

  • business demand for better user interfaces. A common scenario we see is the organisation retaining CA Gen for the server side – where its greatest strengths lie – and moving to some other technology for the presentation layer.
  • the need for better integration of hitherto ‘silo’ CA Gen applications – often within a Service Oriented Architecture
  • downsizing of infrastructure to save money. For example moving off the mainframe or moving from Host Encyclopaedia to CSE

Too many people still believe that it is too hard to do these types of modernisation with CA Gen: splitting block mode into client-server; creating web UIs, componentising, re-platforming, migrating. We disagree and have projects in progress now around the world doing all of these things.

DoitrightA lot is possible – if you do it properly The other popular trend, which we expect to continue to increase in 2013, is the recognition among CA Gen users of the benefits of automation techniques to achieve results which would otherwise be impossible, if reliant on manual methods. We’re seeing a large number of clients who are embracing tools in the Project Phoenix suite of software, which opens up a wealth of possibilities, maximises budgets and saves time and frustration.

The types of modernisation listed above can all be achieved using a largely automated process. The beauty of CA Gen is that the model holds the definition of the application. Each type of modernisation requires changes to the model and the cost of making these changes manually can be prohibitive. Jumar’s approach is to automate what can be automated – which is often 100% of the changes needed. For example, we can convert old block mode applications to client-server 100%, allowing the previously hidden business logic to be exposed and integrated using any of the popular modern technologies.

direction form ms wordWhen the time comes to migrate, ask for help  As we said above, each organisation has different motivations and alongside the CA Gen modernisers we also expect to continue to see some companies taking the strategic decision to migrate away from CA Gen – to other platforms. We appreciate this is not an easy decision to make, but for those companies which have chosen to do this Jumar – as experts in CA Gen – can help. We offer a range of consultancy, outsourced and technical services to support migration initiatives. Our proven track record in migration speaks for itself, and is backed up by our world-class automation tools, but to find out more, please contact us.

So, our main expectations are threefold: more organisations maximising the value of their core CA Gen systems through modernisation and integration, more organisations using automation to push the boundaries of what’s possible, and more organisations taking the strategic decision to migrate.

Whichever of these categories your organisation falls into, it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that Jumar has already ‘been there, done that’. Our new clients in the Asia Pacific region are already benefiting from this extensive experience, and their roadmap to transform and improve the business value delivered by their CA Gen portfolio is now more than just a vision.

Over to you

So, we’d now like to hear from you. What are your predictions for CA Gen in the coming year? What are your plans for the coming year – and what difficulties are you facing, or expecting to face? What level of support do you need? Jumar can help you understand the scale of the task, and the resources you will require. Have you made strategic decisions regarding the future of your CA Gen applications? Are you going to modernise, downsize or migrate? Again, we have the know-how to support you in this change.

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Great minds think alike – Our IT jobs predictions reflected in study

Earlier this week, we bought you our predictions surrounding technology recruitment in 2013 – and in particular, the rise in demand for big data roles.  You can read our original blog, by Helen Law, here.

CW article

Interestingly, Helen’s thoughts seem to have been reflected in this interesting article on ComputerWeekly.com.  It quotes a study which indicates “big data jobs in general are [forecast] to increase 92% by 2017“.

Jumar is continuing to see this trend reflected, as mentioned in our earlier post – and its good to see that these predictions reflected in the wider IT media.

If you’d like to talk to us about big data jobs or any other aspect of IT jobs or recruitment, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0121 788 4550 (Midlands office) or 0161 633 2711 (North West Office).

Jumar provides IT resourcing and recruitment solutions across the UK and internationally.

Jumar: taking CA Gen on the road to Mandalay

As promised, we are pleased to reveal more details about our upcoming presentation at CA World at the Las Vegas Mandalay Bay resort – where Richard Branson (no less) will be the keynote speaker.

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Andy Scott: Richard Branson is his ‘warm up act’.

The excitement surrounding Mr. Branson’s appearance is nothing compared to the buzz around Jumar’s hour-long session on CA Gen modernisation.

Doug Michael and Andy Scott will present on the benefits of automating IT transformation, and how our extensive experience in CA Gen can streamline the process yet further.

Some of the world’s biggest names have already recognised this – and seen the cost savings and benefits of working consistently, while harvesting the investment already made in the system.

The official summary of their talk is:

When modernising or upgrading any CA Gen system, it is
vital that the investment in that system is not lost – but exploited. Some of the world’s largest insightful organisations are realising the benefits of using automation to accelerate and simplify major modernisation projects. This leads to a reduction in costs and the ability to carry out tasks more consistently – all while harvesting the existing knowledge and functionality within that system. Typical examples include a re-platforming, a move to from GUI to Web, a service oriented re-architecture, healthcheck or upgrade. The session will show automation in action and demonstrate how CA Gen development teams can intelligently match customer demand more quickly and accurately by using automation rather than manual methods.

It takes place on Tuesday 23rd April at 11.15am at CA World, Mandalay Bay Resort, Las Vegas from 21st-24th April.  You can register here – or for more information about Jumar’s presentation, please contact us.

If you can’t make it to the event – that’s no problem… we’ll more than happily come to you.  Just let us know.

Technology and IT recruitment trends for 2013

Helen LawAs the country freezes in the current arctic conditions (few days of snow, anyway), Jumar’s recruitment consultant, Helen Law, looks at what’s hot in world of IT recruitment – and investigates what trends are likely to only get hotter throughout 2013.

Let’s start with the buzzwords doing the rounds on the net and in the blogosphere. You don’t have to search far to find topics like Social Media, Video Conferencing, Mobility, Big Data and Data Analytics.

Big data, Data Analytics, Network Administrators, Data Security Analysts, Business Process Organisation, Business Process Re-engineering, JAVA, .NETOur team of IT recruitment consultants has already started to see a marked increase in demand for Big Data and Data Analytics roles, and this rise is something we can only see continuing throughout 2013. With many companies becoming more and more ecommerce-centric, it goes without saying that the current high demand for role surrounding data collection and data security, will only continue to rise significantly.

Buzzword though it is, we find many of our clients won’t actually use the phrase ‘Big Data’. We are tending to find that clients are approaching us with requirements for Database Administrators and the like – but preferably those who have worked with considerable or complex data sets. A ready-made pool of suitable ‘Big Data’ candidates doesn’t really exist, so we find this is where Jumar can add value. It is important for us to get to know, and understand, our candidates so we can select those only who have the correct skills and mindsets for such a role. This isn’t easy (otherwise everyone would do it!) but we have seen that with the right approach to candidate selection, there is more than enough available expertise – and it’s not just confined to London.

Big Data – the bigger the better!

Here in the North West (we cover the UK from offices in Birmingham and Manchester) we have a great example of a client whose business is data-driven, and we have successfully placed several candidates in big data roles. This shows that such roles are not just the preserve of the capital – and neither are those suitable to fill them.

In addition, we also expect demand to be high, but constant, in roles like JAVA and .NET Developers. Jumar placed many clients in this type of role last year, and we predict that this high demand will be sustained.

What else?

On another note, Business Process Optimization and Business Process Re-engineering skills are becoming more popular as companies overhaul their outdated technologies. Businesses are finding that they have to streamline, take a look at their systems, and consider cost savings rather than making redundancies. We have one large client who was informed that their systems would no longer be supported and took the strategic decision to re-write and re-spec them, following ten years of sustained change within the business.

Recruitment contact tile

There is an assumption in cases like this that we are just talking about IT systems. This is not the case, as we are finding an increasing number of organisations who, as part of such a process, are looking at whether they have the correct management structure in place to underpin such a change.

Jumar’s IT solutions arm also provides tailor-made IT modernization and migration capabilities, supported by the recruitment division’s capabilities (including our trademark Flexible Managed Service offering) to ensure that clients have the right combination of expertise and staff to support them in these circumstances.

So, what are your thoughts on IT recruitment trends for 2013? Feel free to share them by commenting below – or get in touch. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Don’t ‘gamble’ with your CA Gen investment – and other bad Las Vegas puns

The biggest CA event in the world is looming.  The huge “CA World” takes place in Las Vegas in April and Jumar will, of course, be there.

So will Richard Branson as it happens; he’s the keynote speaker.  No doubt he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to meet Jumar’s Doug Michael and Andy Scott who will also be taking to the stage to demonstrate ways of maximising the investment you have already made in CA Gen.

What’s the secret?  Well, the best way to find out is to attend the event itself which takes place at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas from 21st to 24th April 2013, but by way of a teaser…

CA Gen modernisation is best achieved using automation tools.

Why? Because it enables you to undergo a complex IT transformation in a fraction of the time it takes to do manually.

How do we know?  Because we’ve proved it – over and over again.

Why should you care?  If CA Gen features anywhere in your enterprise, you will no doubt have made a major investment, not only in the tool itself, but also in its functionality   Modernising your CA Gen application portfolio using automation, ensures you retain and exploit that existing functionality.  Doug and Andy will be explaining this more fully at the event, and we’ll be blogging more and more about this over the coming weeks.

These sessions always prove popular, so if you are attending, we very much look forward to meeting you at the event.  If you’re unable to make it, we can bring the presentation to you.  Just drop us a line, and we’ll arrange to talk.

New YouTube video: Are you really doing agile software development?

Doug Michael - CTO, Jumar Solutions

Doug Michael – CTO, Jumar Solutions

Often the subject of intense debate, and also regularly misunderstood, the “agile” approach to software development is a subject upon which people get rather animated.  There are all sorts of misconceptions about agile – many fuelled by organisations which claim to be doing agile, when they’re not.

Jumar’s CTO, Doug Michael, is no stranger to agile – and has lived it for many years.

In the latest in our series of YouTube videos, Doug examines the differences between agile and other more ‘traditional’ methods of software development, such as waterfall for example.

He then goes on to look at the mistakes made by organisations who claim to ‘do agile’, specifically, their attitudes to

  • fixed timeboxes
  • sprints
  • scrums

…and how these should be carried out properly in order to conduct a truly agile process.

The video is the first in a series of two YouTube presentations focusing on Agile.  Part two will be made available later in the year.  For more information about Agile Software development, please contact us.  If you’d like to speak to Doug directly, please also drop us a line, and we’ll be in touch.

Rogue recruiters: 8 things to consider before sending out your CV

by Denis Bayliss, Head of IT Recruitment Services, Jumar Solutions

denis pic

Denis Bayliss

We’re constantly being reminded about internet scams and identity theft.  We’ve all seen those bogus ‘click here to restore your internet banking’ emails – not to mention the famous ‘I’ve got £10m to send to a trusted friend’ scams.  But, if you’ve signed up to a number of recruitment websites, and you get a message from someone who claims to be a potential employer or recruitment agency, how readily would you send them your CV? Bear in mind that it’s a confidential document containing a whole host of personal data.  Okay, it’s not a bank statement but… Many of us just upload them, and wait for the job offers to pour in. Don’t we?

Recruitment contact tileThis blog post is about an unsolicited email which has become something of a talking point in the Jumar IT recruitment office.  It was received by a member of staff, who years ago had signed up with a legitimate online job board.  Having since found a position, he’d deactivated all the daily alerts from the job board to prevent the daily deluge into his inbox.  But recently, an email arrived from a ‘recruiter’, featuring his full name and a reference to the job board in question – and sent to a dedicated email address he only used for job hunting.  It even used his ‘official’ name of Andrew, rather than Andy which he uses on other non-job-related sites.

Reading the email, it didn’t take long to realise all was not legitimate.  We’ve included a redacted copy of it here…

Recruitment scam graphic

(We have redacted any names to protect any legitimate recruitment professionals who may go by the same name – and also the name of a legitimate, responsible recruitment website)

Not only does it not mention any company name, but it is badly written, uses a webmail account for replies and includes a rather unsophisticated response mechanism. But the sender seems to know the recipient’s name, email address and a job board he was registered on (although on such a popular job board, it’s quite likely that many recipients of spam would be registered).

It’s clearly some sort of scam – but it did provoke a discussion in the Jumar office as to just how careful one has to be when sending out confidential data. One of our members of staff recalls being phoned by a “headhunter” and giving out all manner of details without giving a second thought to who they were talking to or how they’d got their details. It turned out to be genuine – but was certainly something of a wake-up call. It’s prompted us to draw up a list of the top eight precautions you should take before you send your CV to a potential employer/recruitment agency that you’ve never heard of. The vast majority of recruiters are genuine, but scams generally can be convincing (unlike this one!) and are becoming more and more sophisticated.  Remember, just because someone has a website, doesn’t mean they’re not genuine. The big names, yes… you’ll have heard of – but what about the smaller ones?

8 points to consider before sending your CV

  1. Phone the recruiter/agency, and talk to them. Make sure you call a landline, and ask them about their company background. Get to know them. If you’re suspicious, or think they’re trying to hide something, proceed with caution.
  2. Will they only give you mobile numbers? If so, be suspicious.
  3. Do they have a genuine looking website, showing details of their current vacancies? If it is a holding page, or ‘under construction’, you may want to think again.
  4. Do they claim to be a member of a trade body like REC? Check with the body themselves.
  5. Are they on LinkedIn – and are they active on LinkedIn? Do they have a convincing social media presence?
  6. Do they use a ‘proper’ domain name or just a webmail (gmail, yahoo, hotmail etc) address? If you’re a legitimate company, why would you use a ‘personal’ email address? Beware of the ‘our email system is down at the moment so we’re using hotmail’ scam.
  7. Are you being asked to pay to register – or part with bank details? There is no reason any recruiter should do this.
  8. Do you feel you are being pressurised into disclosing information above and beyond that you would normally send in response to a job advertisement.

Any of the above should easily set alarm bells ringing but it’s amazing how one’s judgement can be clouded, especially if you’re frantically searching for a job. Everything above is common sense – and it’s hard to think that anyone can fall for it – but it clearly does happen. Please make sure you only work with responsible and genuine recruiters.  We’re happy to talk – and you’re more than welcome to visit us.

For more details about IT lifecycle jobs, please contact us on 0121 788 4550 or drop us a line here.