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The Future of IBM i at COMMON POWERUp18

May 10, 2018

COMMON’s POWERUp18 conference is just around the corner. A large contingent of the IBM i community is in our final preparations for the event.  I’m excited, and one of the best things about this particular annual conference is the focus it will have on the future: the future of IBM i as a platform, and the future of the professionals, like you, who are in the IBM i community.  
One aspect of that, of course, is the #IBMi30 celebration going on. As I mentioned when we kicked off the celebration, the messages surrounding this anniversary are focused on the future. That’s why the tagline is “30 years of innovation and we’re just getting started.”

So today I’m going to focus on the future, and the ways this event will do the same.
Client Stories
One of the best ways to see how you can use IBM i in the future is to see how others are using it today.  In preparation for the #IBMi30 celebration, we’ve been gathering stories from clients around the world. These clients are all doing something “cutting edge” – adopting technology that’s very powerful and helps their organization succeed, but which isn’t yet implemented in most other IBM i shops.  
Of course, we’re publishing those stories on the IBM i 30th Anniversary site, and I encourage you to read them there. At the conference, though, we’ll have some of the featured clients there to help tell their stories—you can talk to them about details that aren’t covered on the site. Additionally, Alison Butterill and I will be doing a keynote at the conference that will use many of the stories to demonstrate the future of IBM i, and how that future is already starting with these clients.
POWER Panels
I mentioned this last time, but it’s important to realize that the POWER Panels will allow you to learn about, and influence, the future of IBM i. The topics cover many of the areas of IBM i strategic emphasis, including one that’s specifically about the Future of IBM i (I’m a panelist on that one). The other topics: modernization, open source, partnering for success, Backup Recovery and High Availability, cognitive and security.  Anyone at the conference can come to the panel, to hear the thoughts of the speakers – some of whom are IBMers, but some of whom are community experts. The composition of the panel supports the IBM i Cooperative Strategy I’ve written about before—the future of IBM i is not just determined by IBM. It involves all of the community, and there are experts outside IBM who influence that future.
The audience is also a part of that cooperative strategy, and that’s where most of you come in. The questions you ask are likely to contain the seeds of requirements for the future. What do I mean? Often, we get questions like “Why doesn’t IBM i do the-current-open-source-buzzword?” or “I’ve heard you talk about RPG and Open Source a lot, but what about database modernization?”  Well, those questions are really requirements that can lead to changes—and they have. Your questions can influence the future, while also getting you answers.

Skill-building Sessions
I’ve already hinted at it, but let me be a little clearer: If a technology exists today which could help your career, or your business, and you are not using it, then that technology is in your future. Every time you go to one of the hundreds of skill-building sessions available at POWERUp18, you are investing in your future. RDi, Predictive Performance Management, the latest SQL, the “been available for many years but you haven’t done it yet” SQL, RPG Best Practices, building PDFs, using node.js or Python—all of these topics can be in your future.
And, very importantly to our strategic vision, many of these technologies are the starting point to future technologies. The IBM i & Watson session will show how existing IBM i technologies are the basis for getting easy access to cognitive capabilities in the future. When you learn today’s latest technology, you are learning the cornerstones of future technology.
Fresh Faces
I’ll have another blog post at the beginning of June which will introduce the new class of IBM i Fresh Faces. But some of them, and most of last year’s inaugural class, will be at this conference. These professionals who are relatively new to the platform, are certainly part of the IBM i future, but they’re also contributing to it by sharing their knowledge of the technology they are using.
Closing Thoughts
It’s true, the future has not come yet. Except, in the time it took you to read that, the future came. And it’s coming again. Fast. In fact, one of the images I’ve been using as we celebrate the 30th anniversary is this one:

We’re shaping the future—of IBM i, of our businesses, of our careers—every day. Attending COMMON’s POWERUp18 conference provides many opportunities to make sure those futures are better. I hope to see you in San Antonio, and in the future! 

Posted May 10, 2018| Permalink