Is the i headed for extinction? No, not at all.
Probably as far back as two decades ago, when even IBM still officially called the platform AS/400 (as many of its users still do today), some recognized industry pundits, as well as many armchair IT forecasters, were forecasting the imminent doom of what is now known as IBM i on Power Systems. It hasn't happened yet. And as this white paper asserts, it isn't likely to happen soon.
It is true that, beyond upgrades and additional systems sold to existing users, there is almost no growth in the IBM i customer base. Nonetheless, the rate of decline is minimal. Thus, the pessimistic commentators notwithstanding, the message from the market—particularly small and medium-sized organizations—is, "We're sticking with i."
There are a few reasons for this steadfast loyalty. Rock-solid reliability, a powerful integrated database that simplifies installation and administration, and continuing hardware innovations tend to create much more fervent devotion to IBM i than is the case for most, if not all, other IT platforms.
That customer loyalty is also built on a long history of reliable computing technologies that can trace their lineage back to the System/38, which was first delivered in the late 1970s. In the infancy of IBM i's ancestor, System/38, business computing was only beginning to mushroom. Yet, some of the technological advances that System/38 launched back then are still considered advanced today—and they have continued to evolve over the years.
The IBM i's popularity and staying power has been reinforced through a recent survey, with 68 percent of shops planning to not just stick with i, but to augment their use of it. And only 4 percent are planning to leave the world of i. Not exactly a trend of a "dying" platform.
This white paper explores the current state of IBM Power Systems and IBM i, offers insight into the probable future of the platform, and recommends how you can best take advantage of likely developments of the hardware and software going forward. This includes an introduction of IBM i cloud computing as well as the anticipated benefits to be derived from the IBM i cloud.