Transformation Not Modernization

Last week, I had a surprising conversation with an IBM i user. She contacted us about our API generation solutions, and I told her that many people were using our tools for IBM i modernization. Her response was, “we are not modernizing; we are transforming.” “What’s the difference?” I asked. She replied, “Our company has committed to the IBM i as our core platform for the foreseeable future. That means we must be prepared to support emerging technologies using the IBM i rapidly, and we must recruit the next generation of programmers and IT professionals to work on it.” “We say transformation,” she continued, “because we are transforming how we think about the IBM i. We are not engaged in a ‘holding action’ until the platform is replaced. We are aggressively looking to explore how we can use the IBM i to put our company in the forefront of innovation.”

I loved that conversation. We are seeing more and more IBM i users who recognize the platform’s long-term value to their organizations. They plan to use IBM’s support for languages like JavaScript and Python to extend their IBM i applications. They are automating business processes and improving their customer experiences by using APIs to connect their IBM i applications with their customers and business partners. IBM i users are starting to integrate open source modules into their RPG code to speed up their development efforts. Companies are also looking to these new languages to help them recruit and retain the next generation of software engineers. RPG applications continue to be at the core of their development efforts. Still, many shops are adopting new languages and moving to Free Format RPG to make it easier for these new developers to become productive. We are also seeing an acceleration of the move to open source DevOps tools like Git—even for RPG code. Using Git makes it much easier to bring new developers up to speed on working with the RPG applications.

Transformation means a dramatic shift in our view of the IBM i and our IBM i IT professionals. It means enabling the IBM i to look, act, and be secured like all other platforms in a company’s technology stack. The IBM i should be viewed as an ideal platform to provide our end users access to the latest innovations. Experienced IBM i professionals should lead the adoption of the new technology and show their end users what is possible with the IBM i. That is a critical part of their transformation because the existing staff has the deep understanding of the business necessary to ensure that their new initiatives reflect the needs of their end users, customers, and partners.

Eradani has helped a wide range of customers across industries connect with their customers and partners while adopting the latest technology for the IBM i. We have solutions and domain experts in API enablement, open source, and the latest DevOps tools.

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