More IBM i Predictions From The Community
January 26, 2015 Alex Woodie
Last week, we ran part one of our IBM i predictions series. Most of the prophecies were positive, although there were a few pessimists in the bunch (some might call them realists). This week we have round two of our predictions, including some interesting hunches from the top honchos in Rochester, as well as more doses of (shall we say) “realism” from dedicated IBM i advocates.
Steve Will, Chief Architect–IBM i Operating System
“From a community predictions point of view, I do believe that conferences and user groups in the IBM i community are going to have a healthy year, on average. There are so many projects going on, or being investigated, in our customer shops, that people are looking for education and a chance to share experiences with others in the same situation.”
Tim Rowe, Business Architect of Application Development, IBM i
“Modernization–that would be my top prediction. We have seen an increase in this space this past year and I expect to see that momentum continue. Under this broad category I would list several items.
Scott Forstie, DB2 for IBM i
“What do I predict for IBM i in 2015? While I have no crystal ball, here’s a few industry trends that I’m seeing:
Chris Heim, CEO of HelpSystems
Bill Langston, director of marketing and channel development at New Generation Software
I do not claim to have any knowledge or real insight into IBM’s 2015 plans, but given their history and recent events I wouldn’t be surprised if they bought one or more software companies in the cyber and data security market. It’s a given that governments and companies of all sizes are going to have to do more in that area for years to come.
If you’re looking for a blockbuster move that would shake up the market, how about a merger of IBM and SAP. They share many of the same goals, competitive threats, and thousands of customers.”
Christopher Burns, Senior Consultant at GEMKO Information Group
Ira Chandler, CTO at Curbstone
“Cynical, old, and jaded, I suspect my predictions will be rooted in the perpetual stagnation that IBM has inflicted on this noble platform. As soon as IBM became a services company based on WebSphere, the differentiation of hardware was only counter-productive to them. The decline began. And continued.
The insanely brilliant work by Soltis in creating a legendary system resulted in its being embedded in the fabric of commercial computing. And it is only by those scant remaining threads that the AS/400, iSeries, System i remains a viable product at all. We have only the dedicated professionals who crafted their careers around the most secure, reliable commercial computer in the world to thank for its survival. It is they who refuse to be cowed by the incessant death dirge that drones in the background when we see, hear, or discuss this wonderful invention. Those Knights of the Data Center, the MIS Directors and IT Managers for whom this platform just plain works every day, are the ONLY ones standing in the way of the ‘i’ and its final resting place in the Smithsonian, set in a black rack that is its final resting place, just as software goes to die at Computer Associates.
IBM will continue to milk the platform for every possible penny it can, without ever again giving it any of the credit it deserves, because they just want you to contract them for services to install, maintain, and pamper a bloated, spoiled, and incorrigible WebSphere.
The slow-motion decimation of this system, this market, should stand as a beacon of warning to those of us in the IT business. Superiority has nothing to do with marketing, and big companies (like IBM) are absolutely willing to eat their young. How else can you explain a tech giant renaming their star computer “System i” in the age of the Internet and Google. Who sat around and said, “Hey, how about we make the thing invisible by giving it a name that is IMPOSSIBLE to search for in Google?” As a software vendor who keenly studies such things, we cannot conceive of a more devastating blow to a product.
To think that IBM might have any interesting approach to the future of the box is foolish. They are in the dairy business, milking the old cow until she drops.
Some may profess the advances of the platform, and how it has so nicely kept up with the times, and how all the modern [fill in buzzwords] run so well. But they are missing the point that the vast silent majority of users are being forced to adopt other platforms because IBM has done so well in obfuscating the features and benefits of the … I don’t even know what to call it anymore.
I remember when Silverlake was introduced with 1,000 software packages in the biggest simultaneous applications announcement in computing history. When the first system was shipped, over 2,500 applications were available. By 1994, the 250,000th system was shipped, an F80 to Coca-Cola. 1996, the 400,000th was presented to Greg LeMond, a biker and entrepreneur. In 1988, IBM delivered ONE AS/400 to a customer every 12 minutes of every workday the whole year. By 1999, there were over 700,000 systems installed in over 150 countries.
And today, what are the survival estimates? 100,000 in the U.S.? Maybe? Who even knows? HOW do we reverse the carnage? CAN we and DO we reverse the carnage? Or just celebrate that we were each a small part of the most successful business computing system in the history of man?”
[Editor’s Note: Ira, we’re glad you could get that off your chest!]
Thierry Roux, president and owner of Trader’s
About the IBM i platform, I am quite optimistic and really comfortable with what I understood of the IBM strategy to start what I felt as a revival of the IBM i.
My thinking is that going strongly to Linux as a single and isolated server or an integrated LPAR [gives IBM i customers]. . . a chance to avoid Wintel-based solutions. . . . In my opinion, it gives BPs and the ISVs more weapons to fight against Wintel solution and to eliminate the threat of clients leaving the platform.
As an ISV, Trader’s is now very strong on its core business with Quick-EDD/HA for IBM i with more than 1,600 clients in the world, and we are launching during Q1-2015 new offerings to [adhere to IBM’s] Linux on Power strategy.”
Bob Cancilla, Principal at R.J. Cancilla & Associates
“Most likely IBM will drop support for IBM i and buy it once and for all. With all the heat that Ginny is getting, she has to take some major actions this year and anything that does not produce new revenue has got to go…”
What are your predictions as an IBM i user? Are you buying more iron or moving to the cloud, hiring more RPG talent, or investing in PHP?
Tell us what’s in the cards at your IBM i shop using the handy IT Jungle Web feedback page at www.itjungle.com/contactus.html.