Modernization holds the key to IBM i success

BrandPost By Milan Shetti, CEO Rocket Software
May 17, 20234 mins
Digital Transformation

As IBM i investment increases and the IT talent pool shrinks, it’s clear that businesses will become more reliant on partners that deliver solutions that automate data center modernization.

Credit: PeopleImages

IBM i technology is a data center lynchpin for many organizations. Introduced 35 years ago as OS/400, a survey of IBM i users by Fortra found that seven out of 10 use IBM i, an operating system developed by IBM for IBM Power Systems, to run more than half of their applications.

While adoption of newer versions of IBM i – such as IBM i 7.4 and IBM i 7.5, released in 2019 and 2022, respectively – has increased, customers are unlikely reaping the benefits of the operating system. For IBM i users to succeed in this ever-shifting world, they need the availability of a modern and robust infrastructure that drives new services that empower remote workforces and accelerate innovation without incurring additional costs.

Success hinges on three factors: People, planning, and process.

Finding the right people in a shrinking talent market

Midrange systems are here to stay, but the talent needed to work on them is shrinking. Despite the staying power of this technology, the same cannot be said for the IT talent to manage them. Today’s generation of IT workers is drawn to cloud, mobile, and data and advanced automation technologies that are driving digital transformation. As veteran technology workers age out of the workforce, there is no one to replace them.

With organizations taxed to find the right workers to manage midrange systems, it’s imperative they find solutions that maximize user efficiency and enable employees to access systems and data from mobile and remote devices.

Planning for successful modernization

Modernization requires an actionable plan that delivers on key metrics like user productivity and customer satisfaction. According to Azurite Research for Rocket Software, 59% of IBM i organizations have a modernization and optimization “go-forward” strategy. However, many organizations fail to complete modernization plans for legacy systems due to poorly directed time and resources.

Rocket Software ensures organizations stay ahead of the curve by modernizing existing applications within IBM i systems. With flexible and efficient solutions, Rocket Software helps processes and applications evolve, ensuring organizations don’t just keep up with rising challenges, but are set up for long-term success. Tools like Rocket Process Insights enable users to see a 360-degree view of the functions their IBM i applications perform, prioritize projects that deliver the highest value, and streamlines the creation of automation robots and APIs built on data-informed workflows and processes.

Building a deeper understanding of processes

IT leaders are under pressure to enhance or integrate monolithic systems, unable to tease apart key components or discern business-critical needs from improvements that produce minimal returns. At the center of that effort, for many businesses, is IBM i — but it must also include a concerted effort to modernize applications. To be effective, though, businesses need to know where to start on their modernization journey. Without end-to-end visibility across IBM i application workflows, prioritizing work is a guessing game. It is only when businesses clearly understand how they engage the application that they can smartly build a modernization plan that enables innovation and drives real business value.

Today, modernizing on platforms like IBM i requires a deeper understanding of common workflows and challenges for it to be done correctly, efficiently, and cost-effectively. But remember, the number of people available to run midrange systems is down, again putting the onus on software solutions to help deliver these benefits for business.

As investment increases and the talent pool shrinks, it’s clear that businesses will become more reliant on partners that deliver solutions that automate data center modernization. For companies to maximize the value a powerful operating system like IBM i offers, it’s the only way.

Ready to learn more? Find out how Rocket Software and its solutions can help you modernize.