Survey Reveals Major Increase in Upgrades to IBM i 7.4, Renewed Concern about Cybersecurity, and Soft Adherence to Data Privacy Regulations
HelpSystems, a cybersecurity and automation software company, announced the findings from its eighth annual IBM i Marketplace Survey. The survey provides a close look at how organizations use the IBM i platform and the IT initiatives it supports. It reveals the trends shaping and driving the market and provides insight into what the future may bring for this technology.
Over the past eight years, the most consistent data point in the IBM i Marketplace Survey results is the ongoing cybersecurity threat, and this year was no exception. “62% of respondents still said this was their number one concern as they plan their IT environment, with a further 22% citing compliance and regulations in their top five,” said Tom Huntington, executive vice president of technical solutions at HelpSystems. “And while organizations prioritizing security seem to be implementing multiple solutions, it is still alarming that almost 30% of respondents do not plan to implement them. Even more alarming is how a quarter of organizations are still not adhering to compliance mandates. The combination is unsettling.”
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And while organizations prioritizing security seem to be implementing multiple solutions, it is still alarming that almost 30% of respondents do not plan to implement them. Even more alarming is how a quarter of organizations are still not adhering to compliance mandates.
- In addition to cybersecurity, other top concerns include high availability/disaster recovery (59%) and modernizing applications (56%).
- 24% of respondents do not adhere to any compliance mandates. “While this figure has dropped significantly from 40% in 2018, it’s astonishing to see one-quarter of organizations still do not adhere to any compliance requirements,” said Huntington.
- The biggest increase is those adhering to HIPAA regulations (21%). “This could correlate to a higher number of respondents in the healthcare industry responding to the survey or a result of COVID-19 dominating headlines and reinforcing healthcare privacy,” added Huntington.
- Remote operations brought new challenges including security concerns with remote access (46%) and supporting employees working from home (42%).
- Many organizations are 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%).
- 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,” said Huntington.
- 73% of respondents are considering upgrading to Power10. According to Huntington, “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.”
- A new finding this year was a 33% increase in IT and business automation. Per Huntington, “The combination of supporting a remote workforce and the shortage of IT resources could be driving this.”
Aside from year-over-year trends and data points, the report findings also answer the following questions:
- Are more organizations adopting IBM i in the cloud?
- Are shops expanding their IBM i usage?
- How does IBM i’s ROI compare to other servers?
- Are IBM i customers staying current on the latest OS levels?
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Methodology and Demographics
This survey represents the viewpoints of IBM i professionals from around the globe across multiple industries and regions. This diverse sampling spans variability in budgets, company size, server size, operating system versions, and experience levels to give a representative and diverse look at the worldwide IBM i market. Manufacturing reclaimed the top seat as the main industry of our respondents this year, with an increase of four points to 18%.
This year saw a trend upward in responses from smaller organizations (less than 500 employees). 50% of respondents work for an organization with fewer than 499 employees, an increase of 4 points from the previous year. This correlates with smaller manufacturers running IBM i. In terms of the job titles of respondents, they largely remained the same with small, 2-point increases from administrators and director/VP titles.