The Future of the IBM i

Leah Avner

With newer developers scoffing at the IBM i and AS400 ERP and the die-hards beginning to leave the workforce, those in the middle find themselves unsure of what to do. Invest in their existing platform? Migrate off completely?

Does the agility of platforms like Netsuite or SAP make more financial sense in the long run or is the IBM i a sunk cost, both financially and intellectually? Staying on the IBM i means employees who already know the processes to keep doing what they're doing, with some upgrades and updates here and there, a new ERP however, would require a total overhaul of the business and require steep user training - is it worth it?

This is the conundrum Briteskies hears from many of our clients.

While some companies continue to pledge allegiance to the IBM i, either because they’re true believers or because the thought of switching all their customizations seems too daunting, many others find themselves at a crossroads.

So the question stands, what is the future of the IBM i platform? Hardware and software alike.

What's in store for the IBM i Platform

Here at Briteskies we like to say “the future is brite” and with the current news coming out of Rochester and other IBM software-related shops we still think that’s true.

Yes, companies running an old AS400, iSeries, or older IBM i's will need to make changes, they don’t need to rip and replace the whole system.

And, modernization tools like VS Code for i by IBM Champion Liam Allan are a great example of ways that the industry is modernizing and transforming for the better. VS Code allows for RPG development to become more modular, more organized, and more streamlined.

Allan Seiden from Seiden Group is out training the masses on how to integrate various languages into existing RPG infrastructure with his PHP, Python, and Node infosessions.

IBM just announced Watsonx, a tool that can be used to convert applications and programs written in older languages into modern ones, for now that means converting COBOL to Java, but that list is likely to expand and will probably include RPG.

The list can go on and can include a myriad of IBM i software partners, but the point of this post is to say the list that will likely only continue to grow as the IBM i world continues to adapt and connect to newer technology and languages. And so, if you find yourself sitting in those meetings assessing options for ERP choices, migrations, and implementations, don’t feel embarrassed to stand up for the IBM i. The platform will still exist in the future, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Learn more about Briteskies

The IBM i is still widely used and there’s a reason for that. Check out the #IBMiEverywhere social media campaign which highlights different manufacturing and distribution companies currently running on the IBM i.


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