If you are reading this blog then you must be familiar with IBM i. if not, you can gain more knowledge on AS400/IBM i from our previous blogs here.
Being in the industry and learning about the great AS400 series has made us aware that IBM i and its updated versions are the present and the future. At least for the organizations which have security as their high priority. Software and hardware maintenance by IBM has always been a boon for the industries which are running on these machines.
Although, there was no price increase for a much longer time, this time IBM has announced it for SWMA(Software Maintenance for IBM Licensed Program Products). According to Bob Losey, Advanced IBM Business Partner, you can expect to see your SWMA renewal to increase in a range of 10%-24%, depending on your software version. He also mentioned in his Linkedin article, ”For P05 and P10 users, expect to pay about $1,600 and $5,000 per year respectfully. Some may see higher price increases based on their software tier and IBM Licensed Program Products.”
Although, IBM i offers a lot more than it charges, yet these increased prices have created a hustle between the users and many are thinking of a way out, because, no one wants to pay more.
What can organizations do?
One way to get rid of high prices is to leave SWMA services. For an organization doing so is not workable because it will come with risks of losing new upgrades of IBM i and support for Windows 10 and other devices.
The other way is to leave the IBM i platform completely. This can be done by organizations that are planning to buy some other software, need to increase their skill set or want to do some changes in their business. But switching completely from one platform to the other is not practical, especially for big organizations that deal with a huge amount of data.
This is where offshoring helps…
The best and possible option to save maximum is by getting your IBM i applications developed and hosted by offshore teams. Shared hosting is a valid option for many organizations. Large IBM i servers provide a lot of space and many other organizations like yours can pay for their slot. This divides the cost of SWMA, HWMA, hosting charges, support, between you and other companies. Perhaps, this is one of the most affordable ways to make use of the IBM i upgrades, features and facilities.
You can also choose dedicated hosting. Although, it may cost you a bit higher but will help you run mission critical operations without any glitch. Offshoring allows you to get your work done at minimal cost, but, yes you will have to make sure that you have hired the right partner for the same. An offshore partner must be willing to monitor your applications in your own way and provide ample support to deal with issues promptly. You have a round the clock dedicated team to make sure your applications are running properly that too at a very affordable price.
Also, when you will calculate the price difference between the total cost of ownership of a whole new IBM i system and application hosting, hosting is generally 30%-70% less expensive.
In the end…
IBM has announced this price increase after a long time. If you think setting up a whole new IBM i system is not affordable for your organization, offshoring hosting to developing countries can be a good option. Go through the vendor list thoroughly and arrange the meeting to understand what all do they provide. IBM i services and efficient security settings have made industries like finance, manufacturing, logistics, banking etc. to rely on it forever. To keep using these systems in your application maintenance, exploring ways for cost-cutting sometimes become important and offshoring can be a probable option.