Top Technology Trends for IBM i Professionals

Beyond Legacy Thinking: Embracing the Future of the IBM i

 

All too often, I hear executives dismiss the IBM i as a legacy system slated for replacement. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Innovative companies worldwide continue to leverage the rock-solid IBM i as the core platform for adopting cutting-edge technologies like AI, messaging, open source, and more.

Just last week, I spoke with the CIO of a major retailer, who described how they integrated intelligent document processing into their RPG order entry system using machine learning models. By automatically extracting data from emailed purchase orders, they accelerated turnaround times and reduced manual entry errors.

A manufacturing executive told me about their new event-driven architecture on IBM i. They use Kafka to reactively trigger RPG programs based on sensor data from equipment on their plant floors. This real-time processing approach allowed them to minimize downtime and prevent product defects.

These are just a couple examples of the future-forward thinking I regularly encounter when speaking with IBM i technology leaders. Contrary to outdated perceptions, they continue finding innovative ways to extend the life of their critical RPG and COBOL applications using modern approaches.

That’s why, over the next few months, I’ll be publishing a blog series showcasing the transformative strategies IBM i experts are implementing, including:

  • Maintaining and advancing RPG applications beyond the retirement of the original developers
  • Automating customer interactions via inbound and outbound text messaging (Read our first article in the series, Revolutionizing Customer Service with IBM i, Text Messaging, and AI Integration to learn more).
  • Integrating AI functions directly into RPG and COBOL programs
  • Securing integrations with the latest security technologies like OAuth2 and blockchain
  • Leveraging open source to increase application development velocity drastically
  • Building modern user experiences tailored to IBM i applications
  • Replacing brittle point-to-point integrations with flexible pub/sub messaging
  • Adding event-driven, reactive processing with event brokers like Kafka
  • Incorporating the latest languages like Python, JavaScript, and more into existing codebases

For each topic, I’ll highlight real-world examples of how IBM i developers are putting these innovations into practice. And I’ll share resources to help you evaluate and adopt these technologies yourselves.

If you have a story to share about how you’re pushing your IBM i into the future, I’d love to hear it. My goal is to open your eyes to the immense potential waiting to be unlocked on this powerful platform.

Stay tuned for insights that will transform your perception of the IBM i from a legacy liability into a prime catalyst for your organization’s digital transformation initiatives. The future is unfolding on the IBM i – will you be a part of it?

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