Modernization or Migration? Survey Aims to Sort Out the Direction
December 9, 2015 Dan Burger
When the IBM i Redbook on modernization was released in March 2014, it became the “all you ever wanted to know” guidebook for modernizing everything about an aging, neglected system–a road map for migrating IT environments designed for the world as we knew it 20 years ago to IT environments for 2015, 2020, and beyond. Where are we now? That’s what IBM i ISV Profound Logic hopes to answer with a new modernization survey for IBM midrange shops.
There’s no one size fits all or a single way to do modernization that each organization can follow. There are many choices and perhaps that has slowed modernization for companies in the analysis paralysis phase. There are concerns about IBM’s commitment to the platform and worries about the declining number of skilled IBM i professionals. But there are also shops with energy, excitement, and confidence in the platform. They are moving forward and creating environments as modern as any competitors have created.
We know that modernization is one of the top priorities for IBM i shops, and we know there are challenges that shops face that are both technical and business related. As organizations rethink their strategies for the creation and maintenance of applications, the typical focus on the technical side is on application structure, user interface, data access, and the database.
On the business side, improved productivity and reduction in long-term cost are important considerations. A survey that includes participation from individuals who have implemented modernization projects as well as those who are uncertain which steps to take would be useful to everyone in the IBM i community. We all benefit from better data. In this case, better data pertaining to modernization creates a more detailed roadmap.
Whether you are a developer or a business executive, survey information can be put to good use.
Access to the survey can be found at this link.
The survey is divided into three options designed to fit the job perspectives and responsibilities of the respondents. There’s built-in logic that takes into account whether the survey participant’s role is technical, business, or a combination of both, and then guides them to questions that are the best fit.
“We go to conferences and hear all different opinions regarding the platform,” says Amanda Blackburn, product marketing manager at Profound Logic. “Some people are excited about new found potential and others are somewhat dubious about the future of the platform. They are unsure about how much life they will get out of the platform.”
There are many different types of development under way. Organizations are making use of existing RPG and COBOL, and open source languages such as PHP, Ruby, Python, and node.js are finding their way into development that was formerly one-dimensional. New technologies bring new challenges. Understaffing and underutilization are concerns. Business executives take a hard look at modernization or migration.
“The survey helps us get a better view of what’s going on in the market. It’s good for the community,” Blackburn says.
After the survey results are collected and tabulated, Profound will create a white paper in an infographic format, which will be available to members of the IBM i community. Blackburn hopes it will become a tool that developers and IT managers will share with the business executives in their organizations.
Because it is a survey, business executives might take it more seriously than a single voice with an opinion on modernization or migration. “It gives more weight to the opinions based on what many professionals are saying,” Blackburn says. “This will be a snapshot of the market. It’s intended to be part of a packet of info that developers can send up the chain of business executives who may not know the system well enough.”
The survey does not require individuals to provide personal information–a roadblock that prevents some people from participating in surveys.
However, anonymous responders won’t be eligible for the random drawing for several cool products: an Amazon Echo, two Fit Bits, and two quadcopters with built-in high definition cameras.
The final day to participate in the survey is December 21.