For some things, “one size fits all” works fine, like a ball cap or neck chain. But my size 16 running shoes — which my wife calls “boats” — most definitely would not fit or work well for most people. Due to their uniqueness, they’re also more expensive than a typical pair of running shoes.
The same thing is true when it comes to managed IT support services. These services are available at different levels or support tiers and costs because one “size” of managed services doesn’t fit every organization’s needs or budget.
Managed support services for IBM i
Determining the right support tier for systems such as IBM i is especially important. IBM i is still used by many organizations to run mission critical workloads, so problems need to be handled quickly when they arise.
However, not everything belongs in your data center, and applications get rewritten or replaced over time as a normal life cycle event. This may happen to IBM i systems as well. In the meantime, they need continued access to the original application and data for a period of time before the transition. You might also have systems that have been stable for years with no meaningful changes – it just runs.
These organizations still need managed support services, but with a lighter touch. Fully managed support does everything in support of the operating system, from incident support to requests for changes. But this level of support comes at a price, and it may not be needed for production systems that just need to run consistently.
“Essentials” support services
If your organization uses IBM i to run mission critical workloads, you need access to an “essentials” level of managed support services that provides the basics you need — like initial incident support and OS patching — without paying for the higher level of fully managed services you don’t need.
The best way to determine the level of managed support services your organization needs is to work closely with a solution architect. This professional will go through a data-gathering process with you to assess the right level of managed support services for your organization.
Right-fit your managed support needs
The goal is to right-fit your IBM i support needs into the proper managed support services tier that fits your actual support needs and budget. Doing so will help ensure that you receive the mission-critical support level you need without paying for a higher level of support you don’t need.