Report Table of Contents:
1. Introduction & Survey Highlights (current page)
2022 marks the eighth edition of the IBM i Marketplace Survey Results. Each year, HelpSystems captures data on how businesses use the IBM i platform and the IT and cybersecurity initiatives it supports.
Over the years, this survey has become a true industry benchmark, revealing to readers the trends that are shaping and driving the market and providing insight into what the future may bring for this technology.
This survey always encourages conversation, debate, and discussion about IBM i, and the challenges of the past couple years continue to bring more change to organization across the globe. Budgets have shifted to security and to support a more remote workforce, organizations have continued to work fully distributed, and business as usual looks very different than it did just a few years ago.
Despite ongoing challenges, almost 500 IBM i users from all over the world completed this year’s survey, which revealed a promising outlook for Power10, a growing RDi user base, and a continued concern about cybersecurity. Along with cybersecurity, the most pertinent topics in the IBM I community include high availability, disaster recovery, modernization, automation, IBM i skills, and all things cloud. There were many other data points that we hope you will find interesting as you plan your 2022 IT projects.
As always, I want to thank everyone who participated in the research and who helped bring it all together. Your help and enthusiasm are always appreciated. I would also like to thank our team here at HelpSystems who puts so much time and energy into publishing these results.
Cybersecurity continues to top the charts as the main concern when planning an IT environment.
Perhaps the most consistent data point in the IBM i Marketplace Survey Results is the ongoing cybersecurity threat. Over the past six years, cybersecurity has been the main concern for people planning their IT environment, and this year was no exception. Although it has decreased since last year’s results, 62% of respondents still said this was their number one concern. And although organizations prioritizing security seem to be implementing multiple solutions, it is still alarming that, on average, almost 30% of respondents do not plan to implement each of the surveyed cybersecurity solutions. If your organization has concerns over IBM i cybersecurity skills, managed security services could be a way of filling in any holes.
Outlook for Power10 looks strong.
IBM launched the IBM Power E1080 scale-up servers running the Power10 processor in September 2021. This was after our survey had opened, so it will be interesting to see how many organizations choose to upgrade, but when asked about Power10, 73% of respondents said they are considering it. This is no surprise, as we know there are tangible benefits to new hardware around security, virtualization, and high availability. The launch of Power10 also means that older hardware will begin to phase out which software it supports. Make sure to plan your upgrades accordingly, so you aren’t left unsupported.
IBM i remains business-critical for many organizations.
Given that IBM i is known for its stability and reliability, among other things, it is not surprising to see so many users running the majority of their core business applications on the platform. 70% of respondents use IBM i to run more than half of their core business applications. This speaks to the trust that users have for the IBM i platform. The number of respondents planning to migrate all applications from IBM i over the next two years is still in the lower single digits at 5%.
Remote operations become the new normal for most organization.
Business as usual looks different these days, and that likely means supporting remote operations. Along with this comes a new set of challenges, which most notably include security concerns with remote access at 46% and supporting employees working from home at 42%. Many organizations are also making changes to better support remote operations such as automating manual processes (38%), leveraging IBM i Access Client Solutions (34%), and implementing layered security around VPN access (32%).
Rational Developer (RDi) usage increases as companies continue to prioritize collaboration, productivity, and modernization.
Rational Developer for i (RDi) is regarded as one of the leading productivity tools for IBM i. As a result, we’re encouraged to see this year’s survey responses reflect a big trend towards using RDi. 22% of respondents said that 100% of their developers use RDi, up from 16% in 2021. RDi makes it easier to collaborate, which is essential in today’s largely work-from-home environment. If it’s a question of not being quite sure how best to deploy it, these six RDi tutorials contain a wealth of suggestions and tips.
Development on IBM i continues, and RPG usage soars.
The amount of development that takes place on IBM i is always a particular area of interest in our research and this year RPG usage has soared to 93%. We are seeing more and more people writing in a combination of languages, especially because modern RPG looks and acts like other languages, which also makes it easier to teach. This is promising for the future of IBM i and can help to close the IBM i skills gap.
Nearly all respondents believe IBM i provides greater ROI than other server options.
94% of respondents this year believe their IBM i server gives them better ROI than other servers, the highest figure since 2016. Nearly one quarter of respondents will increase their IBM i footprint in 2022, and 43% of users will continue to run their IBM i environment as is. This speaks to the satisfaction and stability customers are experiencing.