Power i Keeps Rolling Toward 2032: Planning for Another Decade

Dave Kravitt, CPIM

We often hear about the long term future of the Power i server as a source of worry for our clients.

Businesses that rely on this platform should know that its long term future is officially secure: Power i and IBM i will continue to be supported by IBM for at least another decade (as we optimistically surmised back in 2016).

IBM’s latest product roadmap projects continued support for successive versions of Power i through 2032 (support won’t necessarily end at this time). This platform is continuing to thrive over 3 decades after the AS/400’s introduction in 1988, and it appears on track to hit at least 40-years of valued service. Direct ancestors of the AS/400 have roots that go back even further.

This news is extremely important for companies that rely on this platform to support business-critical applications. With the long-term future of the server environment secure, now is a great time for companies to consider the future of their IBM i-based applications.

Another Decade of Value from Power i Investments

Across the now four-decade run of the Power i platform, many companies have used it to implement and run applications that are carefully enhanced to address their unique business requirements. Providing these applications (often custom or heavily-modified off-the-shelf legacy software) with expert support is one very common business concern—one where PSGi is pleased to help. 

Another source of uncertainty has been how long IBM would continue to support this long-standing offering. Now, with IBM’s long-term commitment, businesses that depend on these systems have some clarity. While it has a reputation for being used to support legacy applications, IBM continues to improve this powerful, flexible, and popular platform. And, with another decade of vendor support on tap, Power i users will know that their investments in the hardware and software will be safe since these systems won’t become obsolete any time soon.

IBM’s product roadmap shows plans for at least two more versions (“Next” and “Next+1,” scheduled for 2022 and 2025 respectively) after the current 7.4. This fact shows that IBM won’t just be nominally supporting the platform, but investing real resources in maintaining its status as a fully modern solution addressing contemporary technological requirements.

With a secure path forward, there is no reason to feel compelled to undergo the cost and risk of re-implementing your ERP on a different technology platform.

This environment is stable, and we think organizations are best served by focusing on maintaining and enhancing a functionally comprehensive ERP.

Evaluating Your Own Company’s IBM i Timeline

IBM’s continued support of this platform establishes a great baseline level of stability. Secure in the knowledge that the vendor won’t suddenly render your technology investments obsolete, now is a great time to take stock of your ERP timeline on your own terms. With at least another decade of valuable use in the pipeline, it’s worth carefully considering your long-term strategy:

  1. Is your current ERP implementation meeting your business needs? If so, there may not be any business reason to switch platforms for the foreseeable future.
  2. What future plans and capabilities would you like to see in your ERP? Does your team have the knowledge needed to continue enhancing your current ERP implementation or create a hybrid environment integrating best of breed point solutions?
  3. Do you have a plan to keep the appropriate resources in place over the next decade of your Power i installation? Will retirements affect your support capabilities? A third-part support provider like PSGi can help fill the gaps with staff augmentation.

For a much deeper look at evaluating the state of your mission-critical software implementation, we offer a free self-assessment. This self-diagnostic resource helps identify and answer critical questions about your systems. Download this free resource here.

Whether the state of your Power i platform is “in good shape” or there are “red flags,” IBM’s long-term product roadmap confirms it’s worth your business’s time to invest in the long term future of your hardware and ERP software.

If you’d like to chat with the PSGi team about optimizing the performance of your Power i server and preparing for another decade of use from this powerful platform, you can reach out using the form below.

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