Donna DelMuro

The Economic Cost of Falling Behind

The Economic Cost of Falling Behind

We have talked on many occasions about the negative results of companies on this platform that are simply not doing their due diligence to ensure their business systems stay current and modern.

“Why Should I Change Anything When Everything is Working Just Fine?”

I do not have enough fingers and toes to count the number of times I have heard someone on the IBM i platform make that comment. For a long time, I struggled to find the right response to that statement that would educate rather than insult. It became clear to me that trying to convince someone with that mindset was not an effective use of my time unless I could come up with a question or comment that would completely make them stop and think otherwise.

Typically, that question or comment included the words “economic risk to the business.”  With security concerns in today’s world that are keeping business owners up at night, that phrase is becoming more resounding.

The cons of not keeping your systems current are outweighing any pros of maintaining the status quo. The biggest negative being the costs involved in fixing a problem that could have been avoided with proper planning and upkeep of your systems.

The goal of this article is to provide you with a solid, workable list of best practices for annual/biennial planned system maintenance.

Resource Page

The Value of Staying Current 

Information on why to upgrade, how to upgrade, and options to move forward.
View information on IBM Power10, IBM i 7.4 & 7.5, and more.
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Hardware & Software Maintenance
No brainer. Keep it current unless you want to deal with not getting support when you need it most or if you want to pay more than what it would have cost to just pay the annual maintenance fee. It more than pays for itself when you can get the assistance you need when you need it.

Firmware Updates
Firmware is invisible to the user which can allow firmware hacks to go undetected before anyone notices any wrongdoing. Compromised firmware can lead to more serious attacks involving the OS, user passwords, releasing ransomware, etc. Companies sometimes put firmware updates on the back burner because they can be disruptive and require downtime. Wouldn’t you rather plan the downtime on your own schedule rather than have your system go down unexpectedly by an unfriendly outside source? According to

Yes or No to Managed Service Providers?

CIOs are tasked with many important duties and responsibilities, two of which include the management of IT personnel and maintaining IT systems and operations.  The number of IT professionals with experience working on the IBM i (AS/400, iSeries) platform being brought into this environment is far less than the number of individuals retiring in the next several years.  The number of businesses that still utilize the IBM i to run their most critical applications is abundant and many of them do not plan to migrate away from the platform any time soon.  Notably, more than 50% of these companies have just one or two system administrators tasked to maintain this hardware. In the unfortunate event that one or both admins retire, resign, or leave this important position, for whatever reason, the performance and security of the system running your core business applications will be put at risk. Combined with the fact that the talent pool for system administrators on this platform is small, it begs the question: Do you need to consider collaborating with a Managed Service Provider (MSP) sooner than later?

Where is your Level of Concern?

Low Level of Concern – With several administrators on staff, backup support is available should someone need to leave his/her position permanently or for an extended period.

High Level of Concern – With just one or two system admins on staff, backup support is non-existent or minimal at best.  The system maintenance begins to fall behind. This leaves the system, which may run more than half of your core business applications, vulnerable to performance and security issues. In addition, not having the resources to manage mission critical system alerts that can, and do occur, when a system is not being monitored or maintained properly, can cause businesses to stop running.

When & How to Move Forward

When to engage an MSP depends on the level of concern you have about the available resource(s) you employ to help you maintain your system(s) properly now and in the future.  If you have an elevated level of concern, it is time to consider partnering with an MSP.  How to go about engaging an MSP is not difficult. The best resource is talking with other companies that currently utilize the services of an MSP. References are necessary and will put you at ease when it is time to make the final decision.  Be sure to discuss …