IBM i users often neglect keeping their system up-to-date. This happens as a result of users believing that these systems are bullet-proof and will just keep running. And if it doesn't break, why pay for maintenance which can be up to 20% of the original purchase price? However, that attitude can lead to serious problems like lack of support, security vulnerabilities, limited functionality, and software incompatibilities.
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Here is a closer look at the pitfalls of falling behind on your IBM i updates:
End of Support
IBM won't provide support for outdated technologies forever. IBM is constantly innovating, leading to regular refreshes of Systems i. Just 3 months ago, they released IBM i 7.3. While IBM gives a year's notice for end of support, these deadlines can sneak up on you. We've found customers that have been out of support for a decade, and sometimes even longer.
Don't fall behind. Once support runs out, if a problem emerges, you're on your own to find a solution. Your highly-skilled IT team can troubleshoot the problem, but the experienced engineers at IBM will no longer be available to lend a hand if needed. Your business can't afford the downtime that would be required to develop your own solution to the problem.
Playing the Victim
Unless your IBM i is up-to-date, you may not receive the necessary security patches. Without these patches, your system's defenses are weakened.
Cybercriminals often use attack vectors that target out-of-date systems. Exploit kits scan systems for vulnerabilities in aging hardware and software. The Winter 2017 Review by security provider, Malwarebytes, highlights today's most commonly used exploit kits.
Exploit kits work by redirecting the browsers of popular websites to malware that infects your system. The exploit kit scans your systems for vulnerabilities − like unpatched software − so it can launch malware attacks, such as ransomware. Now, thanks to malware as a service, aspiring cybercriminals can stage attacks without even knowing how to code. All they need to do is to buy an exploit kit on the black market.
In the world of technology, fear of missing out can generate awareness. While your IBM i may be running like a champ, if you aren't refreshing your system, you could be missing out on new capabilities. System updates include increased functionality. Newer applications may not run on your outdated system, curbing your attempts at innovation.
With IBM i, in particular, failing to refresh your system means you miss out on the latest releases in the open source portfolio. For example, the most recent IBM i refresh, IBM i 7.3, allows for zero configuration databases. This technology refresh provides new virtualization capabilities as well as additional database and security features, including JSON integration into DB2.
The Quick Fix
SMBs may have a hard time keeping up with refresh cycles because of a limited staff and budget. But working with InfoSystems' Managed Services team can fix all your problems affordably and in a very short period of time. By spreading the cost of years of neglect across a virtualized platform, InfoSystems can offer software and services optimized for IBM i to a myriad of clients, in the least expensive way possible.
InfoSystems is an IBM Business Partner with a wide range of certifications. Our expertise will help keep your IBM i system in optimal condition so you can operate safely and efficiently.
Don't let the reliability of IBM i lull your business into a false sense of security. InfoSystems can keep your business on the cutting edge.