The iSeries Blog

Aug 20 2009   1:54PM GMT

System i decline, modernization, and the next 5 years

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

Bob Cancilla, a former executive in the Rational division of IBM, has started a new blog up in representation of his new company, Reno-based application modernization provider Oxford International. Cancilla opened up his blog with a bang, saying that the IBM i operating system and the RPG programming language are in a state of deep decline with not a lot of support within the IBM organization.

But in addition to decrying the state of the platform, Cancilla offers up possibilities for keeping it alive. You’ll never guess what he suggests. Or maybe you will. That’s right, application modernization! The exact line of business that his new company is in.

Nevertheless, Cancilla has some interesting points about the IBM i platform along with some valuable insights having been there for four years. Here are a few of his suggestions:

Before joining IBM I was CTO for a major insurance company where I ran a development organization that did major in-house development. Our project funding was totally tied to current business objectives and funded by various departments or in certain cases approved by the steering committee by special corporate funding for projects that crossed organizational lines.

What I did not have was money to fund an IT technology project. Even our Y2K work had to be tied into business objectives.

I think that many of your are like I was and have to integrate your modernization initiatives into currently funded projects. I can tell you that my management would never have funded a major conversion initiative as a standalone project. The only way to fund modernization was to show a business need or financial benefit.

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