Mark Hall, a columnist over at Computerworld, had a recent column about the System i, or the IBM i, or whatever you want to call it. It was called “Bye bye i.” As Hall puts it, “(n)ow the company offers you a single, pathetic vowel, the i. The IBM i. ”
In the column, Hall pointed to a recent Common user group story to make his point:
Even supporters are hesitant to stay with i. A survey last month of Common members, the largest user group for i technology, showed a mere 23% planned to move to the latest i hardware.
Too bad Hall didn’t read that survey he linked to closely enough. Here’s an excerpt from the press release from Common highlighting the survey results:
The survey included reactions to the recent IBM Power Systems announcements. Forty-three percent of customers said they plan to upgrade to IBM i 6.1 in 2008, with 23% of respondents planning to upgrade to new POWER6 processor-based systems and 6% planning to implement with IBM BladeCenter.
First of all, the “latest i hardware” also now includes BladeCenter, so the hardware figure should be 29%. Secondly, actually 43% plan to upgrade to the newest version of IBM i, the operating system. And finally, these numbers are referring to 2008, not the indefinite future. What about those System i shops that just bought new hardware a year ago (or six years ago) who don’t feel the need to upgrade their System i hardware because, well, their System i hardware is performing just fine right now, thank you very much.
That percentage also doesn’t take into account those survey responders who have already upgraded to new Power6-based systems. Remember, they came out earlier this year, and before Common released its survey results. Though Common should have made more clear whether any respondents already upgraded, it didn’t.