For decades, IBM i has been a proven IT infrastructure performer. Still, as years have passed, the number of skeptics has inevitably grown. If you’ve been in enterprise IT for any length of time, the following scenarios are probably all too familiar to you:
#1: The antsy CIO/CEO
Perhaps he or she has been to a recent conference and heard all about the latest and greatest enterprise operating systems with all the bells and whistles for improved functionality, mobility, and more. After realizing that your IT environment has been running on IBM i for lo, these many years, he or she is not just anxious but eager to replace it with the Next Big Thing.
#2: The new hire staking a claim
Your organization has just hired a new boss who is eager to make his or her mark, starting with IT. That old IBM i has to go because Windows or Linux on Intel is “much better” and “more effective” at running a complex IT ecosystem.
Sigh. You’ve heard this all before, but as time goes by it becomes harder and harder to convince the powers-that-be of not only the continued relevance but the robustness of IBM i. Here are some tips to calm everyone down and help you plead your case:
1. IBM i has a significantly lower total cost of ownership than Microsoft and Linux.
That’s right. ITG recently issued a report that showed IBM i running on Power servers knocked Windows and Linux out of the park. And it wasn’t just determined on one or two minor criteria – the TCO was based on hardware and software purchase and maintenance, license and OS support, systems management and administrative costs. Check out our recent IBM I TCO blog post to learn more.
2. IBM i uses open source technology (gasp!), too.
Yes, of course, at its heart IBM i boasts proprietary technology. But that’s a good thing – IBM is very efficient at making sure that all your older apps will run on the latest OS and Power processors. But IBM i also supports a wide range of open source software that can add all sorts of functionality, including making Web integration easier.
3. It even supports a mobile workforce and the latest graphical apps and interfaces.
While there are still lots of companies running IBM i with the old, text-based “green screen” interfaces it’s not hard to incorporate top-notch Web and mobile interfaces. But just because they’re newer doesn’t mean they’re necessarily better – the older, simpler “green screens” are often a lot faster than more graphical, mouse-driven interfaces.
4. IBM i is seriously robust and secure.
Longevity can be a strength. IBM i has been tested and proven for decades, giving IBM engineers plenty of time to root out weaknesses, making it one of the most robust and reliable IT platforms around. Its uptime is legendary (read more about IBM I resiliency). Just as important, it is as secure as any computer architecture can be. IBM i’s object-oriented OS prevents unrecognizable code from being executed to help make it virus- and hacker-resistant.
5. IBM i users can be just as fanatical as Apple consumers.
It’s true. Who would have thought that a business system such as IBM i could have as loyal and dedicated a following as the latest Apple product? But it’s not hard to see why. IBM i is still perhaps the most popular enterprise IT platform because it’s rugged, reliable, cost-efficient, high-performance, and flexible. It also requires the least amount of maintenance of any equivalent IT infrastructure.
So the next time someone questions the relevance and efficiency IBM i, just respond with these five points. It’s probably all you’ll need to silence the critics.