The annual Profound Logic ‘State of IBM i Modernization Survey’ looks at trends and attitudes that shape the IBM i modernization market. The data collected gives the entire community a better understanding of the current state of the IBM i and the priorities of businesses with a similar tech stack.
Pre-pandemic we reached out to the IBM i community every year and collected hundreds of data points on how businesses plan to use and modernize the platform in the coming years.
Not including 2020 when two surveys were conducted, Profound Logic has been sending out this survey since 2015. The survey focuses on three main topics: the current state of IBM i; the current attitude towards IBM i; and the future of IBM i.
This survey helps to prove that the attitudes towards IBM i are shifting to having more confidence in the platform, allowing for future development and modernization.
In this blog post, we’ll be discussing the past results of the IBM i survey and observe how the results have changed over time.
The State of IBM i
Of the people 426 people surveyed, 65% were using IBM i version 7.1 and 26.13% were using IBM i version 7.2. Around 63% of people who replied stated that 50-99% of their business applications ran on IBM i.
In 2017, 504 people were surveyed. 53% were using version 7.1, 33% were using version 7.2, and about 14% were using version 7.3 (the latest version at the time). 62% of survey takers stated that 50-99% of their business applications ran on IBM i.
In 2019, 793 people took the survey. At this point, 59% of survey takers were using IBM i version 7.3 while 33% were using version 7.2. 41% of people stated that 50-99% of their business applications ran on IBM i.
In 2020, two surveys were conducted: The regular Survey, and the Covid Edition Survey.
For the 2020 survey sent out in late March 2020, there were 263 survey takers. 55% of people used IBM i version 7.3 and 14% had upgraded to version 7.4. 41% of people stated that 75-100% of their business applications ran on IBM i while 37% stated that 50-74% of their business applications ran on IBM i.
For the special covid edition of the survey sent out in late July 2020, there was 324 survey takers. 43% of survey takers were using IBM i version 7.3 while 23% were using version 7.4. 50% of survey respondents stated that 75-100% of their business applications ran on IBM i while 29% stated that 50-74% of their business applications ran on IBM i.
Attitudes Towards IBM i
In 2015, many people felt as though their biggest challenges with IBM i included a lack of skilled professionals and modernization. Several also felt as though IBM i was outdated. The main concerns that people had with IBM i were the outdated legacy systems.
Once again, people felt as though their biggest challenge with IBM i was a lack of professionals who knew how to use IBM i as well as outdated legacy systems.
In 2019, people believed that outdated user interfaces and outdated application codes were the biggest concerns with IBM i. Once again, people were concerned with finding new developers for IBM i systems and modernizing their legacy systems.
The biggest concerns that people had with IBM i included aging and diminishing developer pools, maintaining outdated code, and a limited IT budget. 42% of people felt positive towards IBM i while 32% felt neutral and 25% felt negative.
The biggest concerns that people had with IBM i were similar to the regular 2020 survey sent out in March. The three biggest concerns included aging and diminishing developer pools, maintaining outdated code, and training new developers.
The Future of IBM i
Over 50% of people stated that they would be modernizing their IBM i systems in 2016, with 81% of people stating that they needed to modernize in order to add modern GUI functionality. Over 75% of people claimed that the modernization project they intended to start in 2016 would be green screen to rich GUI. Over 35% of people believed that they would achieve great things with IBM i that year, while only 4% stated that they don’t see a future with IBM i.
79% of survey takers planned on maintaining existing applications, 60% stated they planned to develop new applications, and 49% planned on modernizing green screens in 2017. 55% of survey takers also planned to implement modern interfaces in 2017. Just like the previous year, 35% of people believed they would achieve great things with IBM i that year. However, there was an increase in people stating that they did not see a future with IBM i (approximately 7%).
73% of survey takers stated that their development plans for 2019 included maintaining existing applications while 60% planned on developing new applications. 44% planned to modernize their green screens. 47% of people also wanted to implement modern interfaces and 46% wanted to implement web services. In 2019, 37% of people believed they would achieve great things with IBM i that year while 7% did not see a future with IBM i.
The three largest goals for business applications in 2020 included faster time to market with business applications, addressing skill shortages/retired developers, and improving operational efficiency.
Most of the covid survey focused on current events and not the future. When it came to Covid, 24% of survey takers stated that their modernization processes were delayed by covid. 6% were outsourcing developers because of the pandemic. 22% stated that their IBM i development budget was affected by covid as well.
We’re excited to see the results of the 2022 IBM i survey and the data it’ll have to offer! To be a part of this important data collection, click here to take the survey now. Thank you for your participation!