Should You Migrate Your Applications Away From IBM i?

Should You Migrate Your Applications Away From IBM i?

Organizations rely on IBM i for support of their mission-critical applications. The 2017 IBM i Marketplace Survey found that over 70% of companies surveyed run more than half of their business applications on IBM i.

IBM i has been a stable, dependable workhorse for almost 30 years, dating back to the AS/400. But despite the fact that their applications keep running reliably, some organizations are considering migrating off IBM i. These companies are hoping this change will bring cost savings, but fail to realize that using managed services for IBM i can result in a lower total cost of ownership (TCO).

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Here are some pros and cons to consider when deciding if it's time to migrate to a new platform:

Pros for Migrating:

  • An Aging Platform: Businesses working with legacy systems may look for a new solution out of frustration with their aging hardware. Instead of being tasked with keeping up with IBM i upgrades, some businesses choose to simply switch platforms.
  • The Cost of Refreshes: IBM makes regular refreshes to IBM i that offer new features and functions, but IBM technology upgrades can be expensive. Much of the expense of IBM Power refreshes comes from soft costs, such as hardware and software support, and software licensing fees.
  • Lack of Skills: Many of today's business analysts are trained in SQL, not the RPG or COBOL needed for IBM i. As your IBM i experts change positions or retire, you may be looking to move your applications to a different platform so you can take advantage of a larger talent pool.

Cons for Migrating:

  • Data Migration: When you switch platforms, data may need to be migrated. Any migration can be time-consuming and risky. The process of migration often leads to costly downtime. Production needs to be interrupted, and clients become frustrated when they can't work with your company when it's convenient for them. Additionally, when your data is in transit, it's vulnerable to being intercepted by hackers.
  • Re-mapping Processes: Switching platforms means you need to rethink the way you do business. A new platform may change the way your applications access data. Workloads may need to be reconfigured depending on the performance capabilities of the new platform. Employees working with the new system will experience a learning curve.
  • Avoiding Technology Refreshes: Intel's x86 servers need to be refreshed every 3 years, and frequent technology refreshes can be costly. While IBM i users do experience frequent updates, IBM does its best to make the experience fast, easy, and cost-effective.

Finding an Alternative to Application Migration

Companies may be considering moving away from the IBM platform, but few of them are taking the plunge. The IBM i platform market remains stable, according to the Marketplace Survey, with only a little over 1 percent of
users announcing plans to migrate to a different platform in the next 5 years.

Instead of migrating to a new platform, your business may consider taking a different approach to managing your IBM i system. Managed services over a 3-year period would get you onto a newer, faster system quicker with improved support and a maintenance-free environment. Working with a managed service provider (MSP) reduces your capital expenses and shifts your budget to operating expenses.

An MSP offers a default secured environment with layers of security. A managed colocation can be used for backup and disaster recovery.

As a trusted and experienced IBM Business Partner, InfoSystems has the know-how to provide managed services for your IBM i platform. With InfoSystems managed services, you can rest assured that you are getting the most out of your applications when you run them on IBM i. Our managed services guarantee that your IBM i platform is always up-to- date.