January 2020 Newsletter

This newsletter includes:

2019 went by as fast as a blink of the eye (no pun intended), but what will 2020 bring for IBM i? First, 2019 was a good year for IBM i.  Solid sales performance of POWER hardware attributed to IBM i is always a good thing, so the numbers that were reported for IBM i and POWER Systems were very impressive and consistent.

Then in June, we had the release of IBM i 7.4 with all the new features and functions that a new release brings with it. Coupled with that was the initial rollout of DB2 Mirror for i, a continuous availability option to propel IBM i into that market. Remember, it doesn’t replace the need for replication and high availability, it works as another leg in your availability strategy.

We also had new Technology Refreshes in the spring and the fall, adding more features and functions.  IBM made a statement that support for IBM i 7.2 is going in the spring of 2021, and that Power7 machines are now out of support and just another 12 months until POWER7+ machines are no longer in support.

Let’s not forget the introduction of native NVMe for IBM i that was announced in the fall.  That really was a great year for the IBM i.

So, what does 2020 look like?  I think we are going to see IBM work to continue to bring more open source to the IBM i.  This increases the options for so many shops when it comes to development and brings in new and younger people into the development ranks. Both of which are a good thing. I think we are going to see more storage options, and the price of storage decreasing this year as well.  We saw the advent of NVMe for IBM i last year, and this year you will see more and more customers moving to it as it becomes more mainstream.

Many people continue to talk about modernization, yet in my opinion, they have the process upside down. So many people want to start with the modernization of the User Interface (UI) or the GUI.  Yet, I believe you need to first modernize your infrastructure to support the process, then modernize your database, and then lastly you modernize the UI.

The basis for modernization starts with a foundation built upon a solid infrastructure.  More and more companies will get this concept, and invest in their infrastructure as they start their modernization projects.  You aren’t going to ride the modernization pony to the finish line on a POWER7 running IBM i 7.1.  Lastly, I see a multi-directional impact to our IBM i workforce.  There will be more and more experienced people retiring, and companies are going to need to search out and look for dependable, reliable, knowledgeable, and experienced IBM i partners to get them to bridge their skills gap.  At the same time, we are going to see a flood into the community with the next generation of a new younger workforce who will continue to move the platform ahead by interjecting new skills and methods.  This inflow and outflow, I think in the long run will propel the workforce, but I think there will be some growing pains getting there.

iTech Sales and Marketing Team

So, that is a brief summary of the IBM i eco-system as I see it, and let me share with you a little about 2019 here at iTech. Last year was another amazing year here at iTech Solutions! A special thank you to our customers who placed their trust in us. Our goal was to exceed those expectations every time we worked for you. In 2019, we increased our IBM i services and offerings, added significant staff, added many new customers, and are continuing to assist our existing customers. We finished the year strong, with so many customers entrusting us with their business, and we will strive to beat every expectation out there.  We grow because we are good, and I am not being arrogant, it’s what our customers are telling me each and every day. If we didn’t do a great job our customers wouldn’t continue to want to work with us and give us more business.  We have an amazing staff here not just the technical staff, but sales, marketing, and administration.  It is what makes us so successful, the entire company is focused on our customers.  I am focused on our customers and my employees.  If I can assemble the best team possible, they will take care of our customers as our customers want to be treated.

iTech Technical Team

In the coming year, we will continue to improve our processes and procedures, continue to invest in our people, and continue to bring on board the best people in the industry.  When you see the iTech person in the red shirt, your mind should immediately be put at ease, knowing that your problem or issue is going to be fixed right, fixed the first time, and fixed in the way as if you had done it yourself. Our focus will remain on IBM i, as my philosophy is “Do one thing and do it better than anyone else”. That has been our plan for as long as I can remember, and it will continue to be our plan for next year, and for as long as I am leading my team. For those who know me, you know that I stick to my plan. When you think IBM i, I want to ensure you think iTech Solutions for all your IBM i Infrastructure needs. Remember, if your IBM i could talk it would ask for iTech Solutions.



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