ID-INFO blog

IBM i: four key trends
affecting the market

These are interesting times for everyone. Indeed, no one could have imagined global containment, or such a widespread pandemic with such restrictions to prevent the virus from spreading. This may be stating the obvious, but the pandemic has changed our behavior and our relationship to work and business. The consequences are also economic, since the lack of personnel in the factories and confinement have led to delays in production, and therefore to shortages, which in turn have led to higher prices.

Bob Losey summarizes these consequences for the specific IBMi market.

With kind permission of Bob Losay. May 2022.

These are interesting times. We emerge from Covid confinement. These measures have had a huge impact on our lives, our careers and the way we do business.

We suffered several consequences: inflation, supply disruptions, parts constraints and shortages of skilled people to adapt to the expansion after the Covid restrictions.

So how do these trends affect the IBM i market?


For a start, we’ve already seen IBM increase prices for servers, features and support services. In some cases, these price increases were surprisingly high. This is a predictable response to unexpected inflation.

Supply and spare parts disruptions

Secondly, over the past six months, I’ve experienced unexpected shortages of deliveries and parts from my main IT suppliers. It’s not the end of the world, but my customers would have preferred smoother, faster notifications. Despite the surprise, we passed on the information as we went along, to help our customers adapt to these unexpected changes. This can also be expected with supply chain disruptions and spare parts constraints.

Shortages of qualified people

Thirdly, the shortage of qualified personnel is a trend we’ve been observing for some time, as more and more IBM i experts retire or leave the market. Lately, however, I’ve been hearing more about a shortage of qualified staff, as more and more IBM i experts retire and companies switch to other technologies.

IBM Power10

Looking ahead, I think we can expect some delays in the IBM Power10 announcement so that IBM can provide more predictable deliveries for the expected high demand for this new server.

In addition, I think the new IBM server might be more expensive than expected. I think it’s understandable for IBM to recover some of its R&D and software improvements.

Anticipate growth in IBM i hosting

While I predict strong demand and success for the new entry-level and enterprise Power10, I think we’ll also see a resurgence in IBM i hosting for two main reasons:

1) Hosting helps IBM i users cope with the dwindling number of affordable IBM i experts.

2) Hosting can help you offer IBM i resources at lower cost.

Benefits of IBM i hosting

Hosting offers qualified IBM i talent at each supplier site, so the customer doesn’t have to struggle to source, train and retain critical skills.

What I find particularly fascinating is that even with more expensive IBM hardware, software and support services, outsourced hosting allows multiple companies to share a fraction of a server’s resources. Given that the needs of most users are relatively small compared with the capacity and performance of the latest servers, when you spread the cost over several companies, the cost of hosting is lower than the total cost of owning a server… without question.

Accommodation meets other needs

Hosting provided users with many other requirements for their overall solution, including a secure, shrinking data center, constant backup, disaster recovery and highly qualified staff.

My feeling is that hosting could be less affected by these four trends.

Will hosting be affected by inflation, supply shortages, spare parts constraints and a shrinking number of experts? Yes, because I don’t think anyone is immune to these trends.

Although I think these trends affect us all, I have the impression that they will have less impact on hosting than on the acquisition and implementation of new hardware.

An optimistic future

In conclusion, let me add that I’m optimistic about the future. In recent decades, we’ve lived through wars, stock volatility, the Great Recession and Covid 19. We’re resilient and adaptable, and we’ll find our way through any trend.


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