Learn to evaluate the future viability and potential challenges of IBM i on Power Systems, as well as IBM legacy midrange systems, to determine your organization's strategy for the platform.
The following article is an extract from the white paper "Assess the Appropriateness of the iSeries/IBM i in My Business" available for download free from the MC White Paper Center.
Many organizations are apprehensive about buying or staying with the IBM i (iSeries) due to a perception that it is a dying platform.
"The perception is that it is older technology," says Jeff Lutgen, vice president of IT at Delta Dental of Wisconsin. "You need to look past that when evaluating this platform. We could move to a new system that is thought to be more current, but it may be more prone to downtime, be less efficient, and cost more overall," he says.
Following is a summary of the main points in this article:
- Although IBM Power Systems running IBM i are unlikely to see a sudden resurgence in new installations, it's also not going away any time soon as organizations continue to invest in the platform.
- Legacy systems, such as the iSeries, and current Power Systems running IBM i continue to deliver exceptional reliability and performance and play a key role in the enterprise.
- Perceived challenges—such as finding applications that run on this platform, integration issues, and cost—are not valid for most organizations, particularly for those running IBM i on current IBM Power Systems.
- For organizations that are struggling with the iSeries/IBM i platform, resourcing challenges are typically the culprit. An aging population of RPG programmers and system administrators means organizations need to be more proactive in maintaining in-house expertise.
- Migrating off the iSeries/IBM i platform is not a good option for most organizations due to complexity, switching costs in the short-term, and a higher long-term TCO.
- Managed services providers are filling the gap for companies that aren't able to overcome resourcing issues.
Additional topics examined in the article include these:
- Reinvestment versus migration trends
- IBM i release roadmap
- Programming languages supported
- Applications running on IBM i
- The state of the ISV market
- IBM i is supporting consolidation efforts
- Reliability and performance
Among the findings of our research are the following:
- While some organizations may express a desire to move off the platform, very few actually do, not only because of migration complexities and costs, but also because their iSeries/IBM i systems continue to meet business requirements.
- Most organizations are reinvesting in the platform, as shown by the 64 percent of survey respondents who indicated definite plans to upgrade.
- Small organizations are more likely to maintain the status quo as they try to extend the life of their platform to reduce costs, but even 53 percent of that group is planning to upgrade.
- Myth: Organizations are no longer investing in this platform. The install base is shrinking quickly.
Despite perceptions, overall, only 4 percent are migrating off the iSeries/IBM i, while 64 percent are planning to upgrade to new hardware/software in the foreseeable future.
Power Systems and IBM i are following a consistent three-year cycle of major revisions over the last decade.
Want to learn more? Download the white paper "Assess the Appropriateness of the iSeries/IBM i in My Business" free from the MC White Paper Center.
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