HelpSystems today published its seventh annual IBM i Marketplace Survey, exploring how organisations use the IBM i platform and the IT initiatives it supports. Almost 500 users took part in the survey, which revealed the platform continues to power organisations around the world.
Security continues to be the dominant concern for three quarters of respondents and, while the number of organisations that have key security measures in place has increased overall, 44% said that a lack of security knowledge and skills is their main IBM i cybersecurity challenge.
80% of survey respondents said they had to adapt to remote working in some form in response to COVID-19 and the two most challenging aspects of this were remote access to IT functions, cited by 45%, and security concerns around remote working, cited by 41%.
Tom Huntington, Executive Vice President of Technical Solutions, HelpSystems, and author of the survey, comments: “The impact of COVID-19 is strongly evident in this year’s survey results. IT teams have been occupied in facilitating the rapid transition to remote working. Consequently, challenges around remote access to IT functions and increased security risk have been key concerns. With remote working set to continue, organisations will have to balance immediate operational demands against the need to make progress on the strategic cloud application migration projects that will deliver value over the long term. Businesses that are struggling to achieve this balance with in-house resources should consider engaging support from professional services to ensure they maximise the value of their investment.”
IBM i 7.4 adoption accelerates
Despite the pressures exerted by COVID-19, the survey shows that deployment of IBM i 7.4 surged this year, with 15% of respondents now using it, up from 4% in last year’s survey. Use of POWER9 also rose markedly with 42% of respondent owning POWER9 servers, up threefold compared to 2019. Overall, 58% of respondents are planning to upgrade IBM i hardware, software or both in 2021.
This underlines the level of customer confidence in IBM i, and the fact that it continues to be business-critical: 44% of respondents say they run between 76% and 100% of their core apps on IBM i, up 5% on last year’s figures.
At the same time, development on IBM i is also on the rise, with an unprecedented 25% of organisations surveyed having more than 11 IBM i developers in-house. This demonstrates the level of investment organisations are devoting to IBM i and that they anticipate strong returns on that investment, with 92% rating the platform higher than other server options when it comes to ROI.
Tom Huntington continues: “It is clear that IBM i continues to deliver in performance terms and that users are well aware of the value it provides. One quarter of respondents plan to increase their IBM i footprint in 2021 – the highest this figure has been in the seven-year history of the survey and testament to the central role the platform continues to play for a growing number of organisations.”
HelpSystems’ seventh annual IBM i marketplace survey can be found here: https://www.helpsystems.com/resources/guides/ibm-i-marketplace-survey-results