Research just published by enterprise applications firm Infor has found that far from being considered legacy, the IBM i (formerly known as the AS/400) is considered ‘future-proof’ by 71% of respondents. That’s despite the venerable platform celebrating its 25th birthday this year.
The firm surveyed just over 100 managers and high-level decision-makers in EMEA. 22% said they were ‘neutral’ on that first question, with only 7% disagreeing that their trusty IBM i is future proof.
2013 is the 25th anniversary of the platform. It was launched in 1988 as the AS/400 and has since been called the i Series, System i and latterly simply IBM i.
When asked whether their business system is ‘very reliable’, 92.5% concurred and the remaining 7.5% were ‘neutral’. None of the respondents running their mission-critical business systems on IBM i disagreed.
Two-thirds (63%) said their IBM i systems compare well with other platforms for total cost of ownership (TCO).
It wasn’t all good news, however. 52% of respondents said attracting and retaining critical IBM i skills is becoming a problem. In a question I don’t fully understand, people were also asked if the cloud could help address this skills shortage (how could it?). Unsurprisingly 53% described themselves as neutral (read, ‘confused’ on this question. 33% said cloud couldn’t help.
Far from being considered legacy, many users said they plan additional investment in the platform. 90% of respondents consider reporting and analytics, additional functionality, mobile and 24×7 availability as either a need or a priority for investment.
Since they went to the trouble of doing the research I guess it would be mean to deprive Infor of a quote on the findings. "The reliability, cost-effectiveness and security of the platform combine to make it virtually future-proof at 25 years old," said Paul Field, Infor general manager System i, EMEA. "This is in itself quite an achievement but even more impressive is that the platform continues to remain relevant with new updates and investment in capabilities such as mobile or analytics."