The New Economy Presents New Opportunities For IBM i
October 14, 2020 Olenka Van Schendel
(Sponsored Content) Economic downturns don’t cause technology shifts, but they do have a habit of accelerating them. The evolution of any technology follows its own path, as inventors and engineers try to meet customer wants and needs, and this transformation is fairly straightforward when the economy is robust and people feel they can invest time and money in something. But it is different when there is an economic downturn, and it is vital to see and invest in the future when the economy becomes unpredictable, as has happened during the coronavirus pandemic here in 2020.
The pandemic-hit new economy has brought renewed management focus on digital transformation initiatives and consequently IT budgets are being re-evaluated. This is, interestingly enough, a silver lining among the clouds.
Because of structural changes in the economy, many organizations in the new economy no longer have the people or budget for large-scale reengineering projects and the emphasis has shifted to one of minimizing risk and leveraging the value of existing application assets through modernization. In addition, the urgency to adapt to a new reality and remote way of working has propelled digital transformation to topmost priority. As a consequence, we have seen digital transformation projects taking weeks or months that would previously have taken years to accomplish. In particular, DevOps and agile technology initiatives have taken precedence in a year where most companies have fewer resources and less budget to operate with.
In many cases, companies are realizing that freezing application modernization initiatives is risky. They realize such a freeze will increase the chances of their company being disrupted and replaced by a competitor. The phrase adapt or die is more valid now than ever.
The goal of digital transformation is to use technology in new ways to solve traditional problems and increase customer value, this goal is as valid now as ever. Digital transformation never really ends, it just moves from back burner to front burner and back again, when and if the business climate demands. There are always enough companies moving ahead as many stay behind that new technologies can still develop and mature and can be widely adopted when everyone else is ready for them. All of these transitions work themselves out over a decade or, not months or years, and when you look up over the decades, the entire economy adapts and lives.
There are a large number of challenges to digital transformation, which can seem daunting at times. But ultimately it comes down to dealing with complexity and managing costs. To succeed it is necessary to determine the right mix of digital transformation with digital optimization at any given time. As an example, the new economy that has been made necessary because of the pandemic makes clear the advantages of cloud-based applications, not just for work-from-home video conferencing and file sharing, but also for increased flexibility and resiliency as well as infrastructure cost reductions for core enterprise applications.
Picking the right partner for such IBM i application modernization efforts is key, then. There are a number of tools that are available, from the open source community and from the IBM i community, and there are experts who have been down this digital transformation road before. Here at ARCAD Software, we can answer the questions of those who are at the beginning of the journey, or help them if they get stuck somewhere in the middle. Consider these issues that are top of mind now:
- Why is the adoption of cloud infrastructure accelerating, and what does it mean for IBM i shops?
- Everyone has heard stories of failed application rewrite or modernization efforts. How is this time different?
- Should any modernization effort include refactoring applications to run on public clouds as well as on premises gear?
- There are a lot of preconceptions about the present and future of the IBM i platform. What are they, and what is the reality that we can explain to upper management to move ahead on modernization efforts?
- How important is it to break down the walls between IBM i developers and those who are more familiar with open source application development tools and techniques?
- Database modernization is part of application modernization, so how do you manage this?
- Just like vendors need roadmaps, users need them, too. How can you build your own application modernization and digital transformation roadmap, and then stay on it.
With all of these questions, you need answers. You can start by doing a bit of reading after downloading our new whitepaper, IBM i Futures: Driving digital transformation in the new economy. And after that, give us a call or send us an email and let’s get to work.
Olenka Van Schendel is worldwide marketing director for ARCAD Software.