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Artificial Intelligence and IBM i Strategy: What’s Next?

Rebecca Dilthey

September 25, 2023

With the explosion of free AI tools like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard, there’s suddenly a breadth of highly sophisticated AI solutions within reach for consumers and businesses to take advantage of. We’ve only reached the tip of the iceberg of how AI will impact how we conduct business. While unclear exactly how, we know AI will play a pivotal role IT, and this is no less true than in the IBM i space. With AI, IBM i leaders will have the information, insights, and recommendations to understand how best to optimize and modernize their IBM i environments.

In order to take advantage of the technology, IT leaders need to first determine what kind of IBM i company they actually are. From there, these organizations should be putting an emphasis on agile development—a path that many are already on. AI, by design, is fast and iterative and the algorithms that fuel it require a constant flow of data and outcomes to be impactful. Accelerating DevOps and modernization processes will ultimately help IBM i teams get much greater quantities of data into the AI, improving results along the way.

Here we’ll look at a few ways AI is primed to impact the way IT leaders handle their IBM i environments.

Bringing Artificial Intelligence into the IBM i

No two approaches to incorporate AI into an IBM i environment will be the same, but there are some clear areas where the technology can transform operations—particularly when it comes to RPG. AI has the potential to take over the role of developing and testing these RPG applications which ultimately would minimize the resource challenges associated with IBM i systems. AI could even reach a point where it alone becomes the IT admin, developer, and quality assurance teams for RPG applications.

This level of AI use, though, is not something we expect most organizations to adopt. The need for human oversight still remains high, and organizations will likely maintain a set of checkpoints where IBM i admins and developers are conducting reviews to ensure compliance and keep operations in check with broader business goals.

Next, let’s take a closer look at a few ways AI can be effectively leveraged in IBM i environments.

IT Support: We’ve already seen the impact that tools like chatbots can have on customer support, helping IT teams quickly respond to, and close, service desk tickets. But AI can also go a step farther, bringing opportunities to improve some core IT functions as well—everything from software updates to server configurations are primed for AI. And to that point, AI is also well-suited to conduct predictive maintenance, monitoring servers and networks, and helping predict when they are likely to fail.

High Availability/Disaster Recovery (HA/DR): The potential for AI to help in HA/DR is massive. IT teams can leverage AI tools to help them spot problems before they arise and avoid a looming disaster. HA/DR also comes with a large volume of tasks and processes to keep things moving, something that AI algorithms can eventually take over, freeing up IT staff to focus their time and energy on more complex, high priority tasks. Overall, in HA/DR, you’re dealing with situations where time and speed are critical. AI tools and solutions can help improve accuracy and speed when it comes to data backup and disaster recovery.

Security: With any newer technology, there comes a very real concern over how these tools could be used by more nefarious actors. As bad actors hone their AI skills, there’s potential for automated attacks that use AI tools to find vulnerabilities and exploit them, all without any human intervention. On the opposite side, IT teams can utilize AI to protect themselves from those attacks moving forward. With AI-powered vulnerability management tools, teams can identify and prioritize those threats that exist in their IT environments, in real time.

AI has vast potential, and IBM i teams that look to AI have an opportunity to not only uncover new business value, but also push innovation forward, helping keep the organization ready for the future.

To learn more, check out Rocket Software’s recently published white paper breaking down what AI is, its limitations, and how it can drive business growth.