Making The Case For Longevity: Key Signs That Suggest a Secure Future with IBM i

IBM Power s914

It’s been close to three decades since IBM launched the AS/400, and in the technology industry, that may just feel like an eternity. But for people wondering about the marketplace for the AS/400’s progenies (Power i and IBM i) — and where things are headed in the future — there’s good news: there are plenty of signs that serve as reminders that IBM ensures this platform truly is built to last, and here to stay.  

What the Past (and Present) Tell Us

First, a quick history. IBM first introduced the AS/400 platform in June of 1988. That means this June marks the 30th anniversary of its launch. Over the years, we’ve learned that the AS/400 system has earned a rock-solid reputation in terms of performance and reliability. Not only that, but continuous re-engineering, upgrades, additions and modifications to that original AS/400 platform as it transformed to the Series i, i Series and today’s Power i allowing it to consistently adapt and stay current with today’s modern technologies. Over recent years, for example, development and innovation on the hardware platform and operating system have been steady. We’ve seen this with key releases and upgrades from the original OS400 to the more recent IBM i 7.3.  All of this has resulted in a platform that continues to be easy to maintain, provides outstanding resiliency — and can handle open-architecture design and infrastructure support for mobile devices and IoT and cloud applications.

A Reassuring Endorsement for IBM i

In addition to the fact that IBM continues to invest in its platform with critical upgrades, there are other indications that there truly are long-term plans for the platform. According to Timothy Prickett Morgan of IT Jungle, Power System’s General Manager Doug Balog recently shared his thoughts on the future of IBM i, pointing out that IBM i customers “still constitute the largest customer base IBM has for Power-based iron.” Morgan also reports that, when questioned about long-range plans for IBM i, Balog made his commitment to the IBM i client base clear, recognizing that organizations continue to benefit from past applications that are now running alongside new applications on-site or in the cloud.  Furthermore, Balog states, “We have a long roadmap that goes out at least 10 years from a development standpoint, and it is only 10 years because I can’t see beyond 10. We will keep innovating and providing capabilities around.” For anyone questioning the future of IBM i, this is indeed reassuring.

Forging the Road Ahead with Hybrid IT

Perhaps the most promising case for the future of IBM i is the notion of Hybrid IT. Thanks to hybrid infrastructure, companies can extend the life of their on-premise systems – some of which were implemented decades ago –  by enhancing it with cloud-based add-ons that help them stay up to date in today’s rapidly evolving tech world.  It’s a great way for companies to keep what they have, and add what they need.  And because hybrid IT allows companies to surround their existing platforms with software tools in the cloud, organizations can save themselves from the often-crippling expense of a system replacement (for example, to SaaS), all while having convenient access to what they need in the public cloud. In short, IBM i remains at the core of rock-solid IT infrastructure, not only because of what it has been — but what it promises to be in the future.

 

Editor’s note: this post previously appeared on the PSGi blog.

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Larry Dube
I founded Precision Solutions Group, a leader in integrated managed services, in 2003 with Terrie Tadsen and Ed Kelly. I currently manage our Support Services team in addition to my responsibilities as president of PSGi. Prior to my tenure at PSGi, I held a variety of customer support management roles within Marcam Corporation, which eventually became known as Baan Process Solutions. While at Marcam and Baan, I established successful new teams for tool development, technical services and technical support. As Vice President of Global Customer Support for Baan, I also helped increased overall worldwide customer satisfaction from 43% to 95%. I started my career creating ERP software. In my current role as President of PSGi, I am able to draw on my deep manufacturing industry and manufacturing software experience. I know what it’s like to address inventory, planning/scheduling and distribution changes while juggling application customer support. My real world experience helps me deliver business operation consulting and IT services and support that deliver measurable improvements in operational efficiency for our clients in chemical, manufacturing, pharmaceutical/biomedical, consumer products and food and beverage companies. A leader in integrated managed services, PSGi combines manufacturing process expertise with in-depth knowledge of the IBM i platform. By providing comprehensive services, we help companies optimize business applications, obtain flexible IT support and extend the capabilities and life of applications through add-on software solutions.
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