With 2022 just around the corner, it’s time to start planning for the new year and your IBM i system should be top of the list! From modernizing to professional development, make 2022 the best year yet with these five new year’s resolutions. 

1: Inventory Your Company’s Technical Debt

Technical debt can greatly impact your business, especially the longer you wait to resolve it. Take some time early in the year to inventory your technical debt. Assess where you are and where you need to be and set up achievable goals for tackling each item on the list. Explore short and long term solutions for your debt to make a plan for 2022 and beyond. 

If the list seems daunting, we recommend completing one small item on the list for a quick win. This will provide your team with momentum to complete the rest. And remember, you don’t need to do it all at once. Spread the tasks out over the year to reduce burnout and ensure you actually complete them.

We suggest adding system documentation to your list. This is a task that often gets put off though will help greatly, especially if a developer retires. Additionally, cybersecurity is often overlooked and should be top of your list. Look to experts in the field to guide you on first steps and help you find weak points in your system.  

Technical debt can often get put on the back burner due to lack of skills or knowledge. To solve this, we recommend sending your employees to an online IBMi programming course for business flexibility and ROI. Tackling technical debt in 2022, will set your company up for success for years to come.

2: Improve One Small Area of Your System

Don’t try to do it all, instead optimize a small area of your system. It’s a long standing joke that January is when the gyms are most crowded and by February and March attendance dramatically declines. There’s a lot of momentum at the beginning to make transformative action, though this quickly fizzles due to challenges, disinterest or overwork. 

Avoid this problem with your IBM i resolutions. Start small, weigh and find solutions to potential challenges, and strive to address one area at a time. Once you’ve completed a small area of your system, you and your team will feel accomplished and reap the benefits of the improvement. Keep the momentum going to continue to address other items on your list. 

A great place to start is with a smaller project like creating a web application to allow customers to inquire about active orders. If you don’t already have someone on your team with knowledge of web coding languages, look to local colleges for interns or recent graduates. This is especially great if you are looking to grow your team as you can train the intern on IBM i in the process.    

3: Put Funding into Employee Development

Setting aside some funding for employee development is an essential resolution for 2022. Investment in your team improves employee morale, increases retention, and expands skill sets. This benefits your company through improvements to your IBM i system and reduced turnover. 

With new development tools like RDi and coding languages like ILE RPG, PHP, Python and Node.js to modernize and enhance IBM i, online programming courses are viable options to train your employees. 

In addition to online training, conferences are a great way to learn about new technologies, attend training and network with other IBM i shops. Now that there are more in-person events planned for the new year, we suggest adding at least one conference to your new year’s list. There are already a few large conferences on the books including POWERUp, NAViGATE and WMCPA conferences. 

4: Investigate Open Source

Continued release of TRs for new open source packages and support makes innovation and modernization even more possible. In fact, a recent survey by IDC found that IBM’s Open Source Support benefits businesses by increasing developer productivity, decreasing downtime and lowering cost of operations

Developing a website for your company with open source tools that IBM has made available is a great way to start using open source. To learn new code and open source tools, you can send your existing employees to online training or hire an intern from a local college for low-cost help. 

The opportunities are endless with open source availability, so take advantage to improve your system’s customer interface, productivity and more. The new year is a good time to investigate open source solutions for your business and evaluate technologies to improve operations. 

5: Innovating on Open Source

After investigating, decide which open source solutions to implement and make a plan. Whether you are looking to run JavaScript code outside the browser with Node.js or securely access your system remotely with SSH, innovative open source technologies will keep your business on the cutting edge with improved productivity, security and user interface. Visit IBM’s resource page on open source for a list of open source programs they support. 

There you have it, five New Year’s resolutions for your IBM i system to get ahead and make 2022 the best year yet. To learn more about IBM i online courses offered by imPower Technologies, please visit our website at www.impowertechnologies.com and take advantage of our free demo!