Why Software, Not Cloud, Should be Transformative IT Priority for AS/400 & IBM i

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 IBM i, IBM Power Systems, Cloud, IT

Transformation appears to be the IT buzzword of the moment. While I like my technology leading edge, my business philosophy tends to be old school. 

Design it better than anyone. Support it better than anyone. Pay attention to your customers and never stop innovating to meet their challenges.

So buzzwords come and go for me without much investment of my attention, especially since they don’t always apply to the small and midsized company with limited resources and budget. But at the risk of sounding trendy (not a word that describes me), I think transformation may have some staying power.

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Corporate IT is no longer the kids pushing the AV cart at school. Corporate IT has entered the realm of the popular kids who are front and center of everything. We can no longer work quietly in the background to keep the infrastructure running. Not when we need to be more than keepers of the hardware to our companies that are trying to compete in a ferociously digital world. We need to take up an oar in the front seat to help our companies compete. We need to transform.

For small and midsize businesses that means doing the work you can…better. It means leveraging every bit of functionality out of the equipment you have whether it is a 20 year-old AS/400, 10 year-old iSeries, or brand new IBM i, to help your companies have a better, faster, and more compelling interaction with clients. It means giving marketing the tools it needs to attract prospects online and track the data. It means giving sales managers the reports they need to drive sales and track inventory in the NOW, not the later. It means giving your company fast access to database information. It means protecting your IBM power servers and the data in it from preventable mishaps.

It means finding ways to automate and cut costs.

While some IT managers spend a lot of the time figuring out pie in the sky cloud solutions, others are leveraging the most out of their current infrastructure with solutions that cloud – public, private, hybrid – can’t solve. Cloud can’t get your checks paid for less than half the cost with better security. Cloud can’t transform server output into useful excel and word reports. Cloud can’t send you a text message to say your server is at capacity or that an input error is backing up printing projects or that the power is out.

You know what can? Software. For a small investment, software has the potential to immediately transform what you do as an IT department for your company. To help your company compete. To get more efficient. To give customers the digital relationship they’ve come to demand. Cloud has its place in the IT landscape. But the cloud conversation shouldn’t eclipse the obvious, the logical things than can be done immediately to help companies compete. Because transformation isn’t always about the big idea. It’s also about looking at every task, and every function, and figuring out how to do it mindfully and smarter in a way that helps your company compete and succeed.


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