- IBM i / AS400
Upgrading your software operating system can seem like an overwhelming task. Your current system likely works fine, or well enough, and a software upgrade would mean a temporary disruption to your business, not to mention probable weekend work as you launch and monitor the go-live. So why is it so important to update your operating system?
As IBM creates new operating systems, they sunset support for the older ones. Staying on IBM Support ensures that you and your business have access to technical support and knowledge to keep your software functioning, whether that be access to product fixes or seeking the help of IBM’s support professionals.
With every new release comes significant enhancements to the Operating System. Each OS level includes firmware updates which allow for performance increases and system patches. Often, this includes DB2 enhancements making your machines more capable for your needs and constructing a more user-friendly environment.
As hackers become more skilled, security continues to stay at the forefront of IT concerns. Knowing this, IBM is continuously enhancing security standings for their software. With each new release, IBM offers patches to security vulnerabilities that were open on previous systems and also implements new prevention measures to thwart ransomware attacks from penetrating the system.
One of the largest reasons companies choose to not update their operating system is cost. Companies follow the mantra of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" and while that's generally a good rule, it doesn't translate well to technology. Periodic updates to IT software and hardware are responsible actions to helping ensure your system can stay reliably running. Not giving your software the appropriate tools needed to stay running raises your technological debt which will eventually translate into actual cost.
With every new OS release, your system's functional value decreases and its technical liability increases.
While your system may be working for you now, the price you will need to pay to maintain of fix an older OS jumps exponentially as IBM drops support.
Extended Service Extension for software maintenance by IBM is offered at a higher rate than the more current versions. By not maintaining current levels of support, you are creating a larger future spend, than if you made incremental software updates.
Staying up-to-date not only reduces your cost, but will also likely reduce your risk as you can take advantage of the released Tech Refreshes. And, as your system moves through software support, you will also likely be making necessary updates to hardware and applications as you ensure everything can complement each other. This means that your system as a whole, will be updated, secure, and operating to the best of it's abilities - something that will translate to the company overall.
On the flip side, old software or hardware may mean that when it does come time to upgrade one or the other (or both!) your cost will be that much higher as you pay to upgrade your software, hardware, and sometimes software again as you work your way through the years of missed opportunities.
If you’re running old software or old hardware, now is the perfect time to update and get back on track.