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News & Views

HelpSystems publishes IBM i survey
Security concerns over remote worker access is continuing to intensify according to the latest IBM I Marketplace Survey ( by HelpSystems (

In the survey, security continues to be the dominant concern for three quarters of respondents and, while the number of organizations which have key security measures in place have increased overall, 44% said that a lack of security knowledge and skills is their main IBM i cybersecurity challenge.

Of those surveyed, 80% say they have had to adapt to remote working in some form in response to COVID-19 with the two most challenging aspects working remotely being access to IT functions (45%) and security concerns around remote working, cited by 41% of respondents.

“The impact of COVID-19 is strongly evident in this year’s survey results.  IT teams have been occupied in facilitating the rapid transition to remote working.  Consequently, challenges around remote access to IT functions and increased security risk have been key concerns,” says Tom Huntington, Executive Vice President of Technical Solutions, HelpSystems.

“With remote working set to continue, organizations will have to balance immediate operational demands against the need to make progress on the strategic cloud application migration projects that will deliver value over the long term.  Businesses that are struggling to achieve this balance with in-house resources should consider engaging support from professional services to ensure they maximize the value of their investment.”

Despite the pressures exerted by COVID-19, the survey shows that deployment of IBM i 7.4 surged this year, with 15% of respondents now using it, up from 4% in last year’s survey.  Use of POWER9 also rose markedly with 42% of respondents owning POWER9 servers, up threefold compared to 2019. Overall, 58% of respondents say they are planning to upgrade IBM i hardware, software or both in 2021.  This underlines the level of customer confidence in IBM i, and the fact that it continues to be business-critical: 44% of respondents say they run between 76% and 100% of their core apps on IBM i, up 5% on last year’s figures.

“It is clear that IBM i continues to deliver in performance terms and that users are well aware of the value it provides,” continues Huntingdon.  “Our survey found that one quarter of respondents plan to increase their IBM i footprint in 2021 – the highest this figure has been in the seven-year history of the survey and testament to the central role the platform continues to play for a growing number of organizations.” 
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