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Assess the Appropriateness of the iSeries/IBM i in My Business

Separate myth from reality to assess future viability and your organization's strategy for this platform.

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  • Dave Wiseman, Connectria Hosting
  • David M. Fritzke, YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee
  • David Sims, Flux
  • Alan Jordan, Coglin Mill
  • Trevor Perry, Angus Thinks!
  • David Booth, North American Construction Group
  • Jeff Lutgen, Delta Dental of Wisconsin
  • Tom Huntington, Help Systems
  • 8 additional anonymous contributors

Your Challenge

  • The perception that IBM Power Systems (e.g. iSeries, IBM i) is a dying platform built on old technology is applying pressure on IT leaders to determine the future viability of this platform, and whether it’s still the right fit for their organization.
  • Similarly, organizations running green screen applications are facing pressure to modernize those apps or migrate to a platform that is perceived to be more modern and cheaper, such as commodity Windows-based servers.
  • An aging population of RPG programmers and system administrators adds to the concerns about future viability.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • A consistent three-year cycle of major revisions continues to add modern functionality, and reflects a commitment by IBM to Power Systems. This platform has historically been at the forefront of innovation, such as virtualization, ahead of other platforms, including Windows.
  • Modernization efforts since 2007 include adding support for languages such as Java, PHP, and C++. In addition, development tools are available to create modern, Web-based interfaces for legacy apps, making even RPG-based software accessible by tablets and smartphones.
  • Many of the perceived challenges are invalid or overstated. For example, while resourcing is a challenge, many educational centers continue to teach RPG programming and Power Systems administration.

Impact and Result

  • Use Info-Tech’s assessment of perceived challenges to evaluate whether Power Systems is the right fit for your organization, and what actions to take if it isn’t.
  • If you’re staying with Power Systems, follow the advice in this solution set to mitigate challenges, such as resourcing.
  • If you’re considering migrating off Power Systems, use this solution set to evaluate whether that’s the right decision for your organization.

Research & Tools

1. Assess the future viability and potential challenges of IBM Power Systems (e.g. iSeries, IBM i)

Determine your organization’s strategy for this platform.

2. Calculate the six-year cost of owning a Power Systems platform versus alternatives

Use the true cost of Power Systems in your appropriateness assessment and budget planning.

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Search Code: 46797
Published: August 19, 2011
Last Revised: August 19, 2011