Bob Cancilla: Drop That IBM i and Move to the Cloud

Bob Cancilla, a familiar face in the IBM i world, has an interesting column (provocative for IBM i personnel) on his Web site, encouraging readers to drop their IBM i boxes and move to a cloud-based solution. Here’s one of his relevant points.

The total cost of cloud based operations is a fraction of what you will pay in terms of hardware, software, and people to maintain and support your own Power Systems IBM i based environment.

There was a linkedin topic that reports that going rate for an IBM i system administrator is $90k per year plus in most parts of the United States. So figure about $120k total cost. That is a lot of money for any company, but especially smaller companies with small IBM i based machines! This is a totally unnecessary expense in a cloud based environment.

He makes an interesting argument that the cloud makes IBM i administrators and even RPG programmers obsolete. What do you think? If he right? Anyone? Angus??? Feel free to post comments here.

So is it game over now that the cloud’s in town? I’ll offer a guest blog post on to anyone who wants to debate Mr. Cancilla.

Read Bob’s column here


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3 Responses to Bob Cancilla: Drop That IBM i and Move to the Cloud

  1. Or… (wait for it…) Move your IBM i to the cloud!

    Seriously the point is well made that often even the very smallest POWER system with IBM i is considerably more than the company needs. But why abandon the software, data, and experience of your staff. If windows and Linux can run in the cloud, i can run there better.

  2. Angus says:


    From all Bob’s activity on LinkedIn, we know several things. He seems to have a vendetta against the platform – something about his being fired from IBM. He seems to have a rage against RPG – something about him being a pioneer EGL advocate, which seems to have failed miserably. And then there is something about his current consulting job, where his entire approach is to move people AWAY from IBM i.

    His rantings have been countered many times on several IBM i related Linked In groups, and he is not welcome there. He spreads misinformation, primarily about IBM and platform statistics. Most of his claims have been utterly debunked by other ex-IBMers, and also by IBM announcements about the platform.

    For you to post anything about him is to give him just a tad more credibility than he needs. He is a disruptive, incorrect, and out of date pundit, and we should counter his FUD with the truth. He is about removing IBM i from the industry – cloud is simply his current rant.


    • Joe Hertvik says:

      To anyone reading these comments:

      I want to stress that opinions shared here are those of the posters and may not necessarily match my own opinions.

      Although this post is two years, my offer still stands to post a guest column to anyone who wants to discuss the main ideas in that article. I will be glad to publish as long as it sticks to the topic about whether it’s wise to drop an IBM i box and move to the cloud (note: I reserve the right not to publish if your submission isn’t appropriate or relevant).

      For my part, dropping IBM i and moving to the cloud may be simplistic as I know of entire companies with hundreds of millions (or billions of dollars in one case) who have built their business running on the IBM i platform. These companies have more or less built killer applications that can easily take years and millions of $ to unwind and migrate to another platform. Doing any kind of ERP migration is a difficult process and should be approached with caution and lots of planning (click here for some of my past experiences with ERP migration–> ). It’s not a simple process.

      And speaking to Larry’s note that we should migrate IBM i boxes to the cloud, that process has accelerated since 2012. I posted a community post of companies that host IBM i partitions at . This list is specific to companies that host IBM i and their Web sites must specifically say IBM i to get on that list. Several times a month, I get vendors emailing me who want to be added to the list. So from that viewpoint, IBM i in the cloud seems to be a growing business.


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