Searching For IBM i Answers
September 22, 2014 Dan Burger
In general terms, we know the IBM i community pretty well. It’s a little frustrating, however, that so many of the specifics that are lacking. Anecdotal stories abound. Generalities are applied with impunity. IBM, even with big data and analytics as cornerstones of its modernization marketing messages, claims it knows almost nothing about its IBM i customers when it comes to hardware and software implementations. Meaningful data is either not being collected or not being shared if it is collected.
It’s easier to believe the second of those options as opposed to the first.
Therefore, I’m in favor of a survey that brings some numbers to light and can be shared with the community rather than squirreled away in a wall safe in someone’s office.
A broad-based IBM i survey is overdue. But even if we had a survey, would you take 15 minutes to complete it and would the results be of any use to you?
I’ve had some conversations with Tom Huntington, vice president of technical services at HelpSystems, on this topic and he agreed the data on IBM i customers is scarce. One of the most insightful IBM i surveys is the annual State of the IBM i Security survey that that’s been produced by PowerTech, a HelpSystems subsidiary. IT Jungle has published stories on this survey since the first one was produced in 2003 You can read about the 2014 study at this link.
Huntington is one of the road warriors in the IBM i community. He attends multiple IBM Power Systems conferences, participates in a series of HelpSystems road shows and is a frequent speaker at local user group meetings. He talks with thousands of IBM i customers each year. He’s kept some notes and can tell some stories, but there was little science or statistics applied to any of it.
Well, that’s about to change.
HelpSystems is emailing surveys out to its email list and soliciting responses to a survey that will be much broader than the State of the IBM i Security survey and one that will be shared with the community.
You may have guessed this already, but you are invited to participate. It will be an opportunity to identify what your IBM i shop is doing now and what it hopes to be doing in the future. With hundreds or maybe thousands of participants, we’ll get a much clearer picture of the Smarter Planet where the i people live.
We’ll get a better idea of how IBM i (and iSeries and AS/400) shops are equipped to take care of business in 2014 and how they are preparing for the years ahead.
This is a 40-question survey, that you can go to at this link, that can be completed in less time than it takes to drink a cup of coffee. Many of the answers can be recorded quicker than it takes to read the questions.
Some are yes or no and the rest are multiple choice. How many servers? Are your main applications green screens? What, if any, additional operating systems to you run on your Power server?
A few, such as what are your top concerns, will require a little more time, but even that one has multiple choice answers.
Keep in mind, the results from this survey are not just for curiosity sake. With enough participation, this will reveal the kind of information that will be useful to executive management, the people deciding whether to invest in IBM i or consider the alternative.