Last week the biggest user group (UG) event for the IBM i community, the i-UG International i-Power 2019 conference, held in the United Kingdom, was widely attended, with attendees eager to meet fellow IT professionals and discuss topics relevant to IBM i, its connective systems, and key business issues. I had the opportunity to attend the event and meet with on-premise Movex and M3 users to discuss current challenges and the IBM i strategy and global product road map.
Mike Ryan, the incumbent i-UG chairman, and his team put together a well-rounded agenda, including real world case studies, in depth overviews, and how to get the most value from business technology investments to support innovation today and into the future.
Here are the four most important take away messages from the conference:
Technology is Changing the Business Landscape
Alison Butterill, IBM i worldwide offering manager, David Spurway, IBM Power Systems CTO for UK and Ireland, and other C-level peers participated in a dynamic discussion about the changing landscape of infrastructure provision, its impacts, and the changing influences of today’s corporate boards. It was eye-opening to see the different perspectives and views on the evolving business landscape and future of work.
Alison Butterill shared IBM’s track record of success and its seven quarters of consecutive growth with IBM i sales. She also shared great advancements and customer uptake for IOT, AI, automation, and robotics projects all based on the IBM i platform. Alison also provided transparency into the IBM i product road map and its strategy for continued innovation to help organizations transform into a centre for innovation in the age of digital transformation.
Options are a Key
Evangelist for IBM Power Systems David Spurway shared a multitude of architectures to utilise IBM i technology within the most diverse environments, including on-premise, IBM SaaS, IBM i cloud, hybrid cloud, and private cloud. He stressed IBM’s clear, active strategy of developing an ‘open’ architecture, essentially making the OS stack more accessible to other technologies. For example, IBM i now supports many new programming languages such as Python, attracting younger people into the IBM i community and providing connectivity into other new open applications or cloud services. This open structure will allow users to expand their use of the platform, significantly increasing ROI.
IBM is investing in Bringing Top-notch Talent to the Platform
A running theme throughout the two-day event was how to attract new talent into the world of IBM i. Kevin O’Brien, RAFAC warrant officer and officer commanding 182 squadron, and Tom Hughes, RAFAC flight sergeant, discussed their experiences with the S.T.E.M. initiative, and the methodology they use to attract new talent into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields.
IBM i is in it for the Long Haul
My discussions with Movex and M3 on-premise users demonstrated that CIOs and IT Directors are eager to leverage extended strategy capabilities and support strategies. Many of the conversations revolved around five- to ten-year road maps to visualise the future. This supports the growing trend by businesses to maximise on current assets and to be able to demonstrate longevity to their customer base.
Overall, it was a great two days of learning and connecting with customers. Want to connect about the show, or the IBM product roadmap and what it means for your business? Let’s get in touch!