As a technical leader, your core responsibility is to ensure your AS400 systems run smoothly without any downtime.
You also must improve the performance of your mission-critical AS400 business applications.
To ensure your AS400 ecosystem’s optimal use –
- Robust AS400 system administration processes are required.
- An AS400 administrator is required.
A lot goes behind support and maintenance to create a scalable and optimized IBM i / AS400 / iSeries environment; only a professional understands it from an in-depth perspective.
Let’s understand an AS400 administrator’s responsibilities, their importance, scope, and certifications they can take.
Importance of AS400 Administration in the IT Landscape
Managing your AS400 systems is important to ensure the smooth functioning of your IT operations.
If your business demands uninterrupted uptime and secure data processing, AS400 systems are critical, and only with proper administration it works properly.
AS400 administration ensures both day-to-day and strategic business functions are performed with precision and without fail.
Different tasks are important in AS400 administration, such as overseeing the system’s hardware and software and mitigating potential issues before they impact the business.
With professional administration support for your systems, you can achieve the following:
- A competitive edge by ensuring transaction handling.
- Data security
- Seamless business processes
Now that the benefits of AS400 administration are clear, let’s explore the core responsibilities of AS400 administrators and how they have become core contributors to the IT ecosystem.
Core Responsibilities of an AS400 Administrator
AS400 administrators are the key managers of one of the most durable and reliable computing platforms. Their responsibilities are diverse and complex, which require consistent monitoring and in-depth expertise.
Here are the core responsibilities that a professional AS400 administrator must have:
1. Project Leadership
A professional AS400 administrator or admin must lead projects linked with improving the upgrading, patching, or implementation of new technology solutions.
Such professionals should manage these projects’ technical aspects and ensure alignment with the organization’s strategic objectives.
They must coordinate cross-functional teams, manage timelines, and communicate effectively with stakeholders to facilitate a unified approach to upgrades and deployments.
Do you have a dedicated AS400 admin who leads this aspect of your IT?
2. Change Management
AS400 administrators play a key role in managing IT changes. They make sure that any updates or changes to the system happen smoothly without causing problems or stopping the business from working as usual.
Professional administrators plan carefully to ensure the system stays up and running and is ready to fix any issues quickly.
Does your AS400 admin handle change management and keep everyone who uses the system in the loop?
3. Source code management
AS400 administrators also oversee the handling of source code and version control, which is vital for the integrity and success of IT operations.
They set up and manage systems that keep track of different versions of the software being used or developed. It ensures that changes are made systematically, and the team can always return to earlier versions if needed.
AS400 administrators ensure that all updates and developments follow the organization’s rules.
Is your AS400 admin responsible for keeping the code safe and recording changes properly?
4. Technical problem resolution
AS400 administrators are the go-to experts for solving technical problems.
They are responsible for diagnosing and resolving technical glitches ranging from minor hiccups to system-wide issues affecting productivity and business operations.
These administrators employ a deep understanding of the AS/400 environment.
Do your AS400 admins draw upon their knowledge of hardware, software, and network based on AS400 systems to identify the root cause of problems?
5. System performance optimization
Handling system performance optimization is one of the core responsibilities of a professional AS400 administrator.
It involves regular assessments of:
- How well the system is running?
- Identifying any areas that are not performing to standard.
- Making the necessary adjustments
Does your AS400 admin fine-tune the system to ensure it operates at peak efficiency, providing the best possible functionality to users?
6. System monitoring
A core duty of an AS400 administrator is to establish a comprehensive system monitoring and alerting framework. It involves proactively identifying potential issues before they escalate into serious problems that could impact the business.
Does your AS400 administrators constantly watch your IBM i platform’s health and performance by setting up a robust monitoring system?
7. Innovation and improvement
One of the defining traits of a skilled AS400 administrator is constant innovation and improvement within the system.
The administrator should figure out innovative ways to improve the performance of the existing AS400 systems and
Does your AS400 admin ensure that new adoption doesn’t hinder smooth business operations?
8. Release management
The successful AS400 administrator must master the art of release management.
But what’s that, you might wonder?
It is a systematic approach to handle the deployment of software updates. It involves:
- Controlling a software build through different stages and environments, including testing and deploying releases.
A comprehensive release management protocol includes defining the processes of releasing new software updates, patches, or enhancements.
The administrator must ensure that these procedures are well-documented and understood by all parties involved.
Does your AS400 administrator cover initial request tracking and version control to final deployment and post-release review?
9. Backup management
Professional AS400 administrators must safeguard your company’s data through rigorous backup management.
Apart from scheduling regular backups, they must plan a comprehensive strategy to ensure that all data are captured, stored, and readily available for recovery.
Effective backup management starts with understanding the unique requirements of your organization’s data and systems.
Does your AS400 administrator determine the appropriate frequency of backups, considering the different types of data and their respective criticalities to business operations?
10. Policy compliance
An administrator must adhere to and enforce your organization’s IT policies and procedures to be the ideal hire.
They must ensure that all system practices comply with the standards and regulations governing data security, user access, and system operations.
They are also familiar with the regulatory ecosystem and understand the specific compliance requirements that impact their systems, such as:
- Data protection laws
- Industry standards
- Internal governance rules
Does your AS400 admin team enforce these policies, continuously monitoring system activities and user behavior to ensure alignment with established protocols?
11. On-call availability
Being on-call means an administrator is ready to address and resolve AS400 urgent issues that could arise after hours, during weekends, or on holidays.
High dedication is important to minimize IT infrastructure downtime and ensure that business-critical applications remain operational.
On-call duties require AS400 administrators to have a robust understanding of the system and experience in troubleshooting effectively under pressure.
Does your AS400 admin have strong communication skills to coordinate with stakeholders across different time zones if necessary?
12. Certifications and Training
These roles and responsibilities cover the basics of being a professional administrator in the industry.
While associating with professional administrators, you must check these skills using multiple tasks or cross-questioning.
Do your AS400 admin team members carry the certifications that can ensure your project is in safe hands?
Credible AS400 Administrator Certifications
Hiring administrators with specific certifications can help you ensure the proficiency and reliability of your AS400 system management.
We have shortlisted well-recognized certifications that are highly regarded in the field of AS400 administration:
1. IBM Certified System Administrator – IBM i
This certification is important for a professional AS400 administrator focusing on the everyday management of IBM i systems. It covers aspects such as:
- Problem resolution
- Software and hardware management
- System security
The certification proves the administrator’s technical expertise and ability to manage day-to-day tasks efficiently.
2. IBM Certified Advanced System Administrator – IBM i
The IBM Certified Advanced System Administrator certification is focused on more experienced professionals and covers advanced topics such as system architecture, complex management, and performance optimization of IBM i systems.
The certification highlights that the candidate has a deeper understanding and higher skill level and is ideal for senior roles and responsibilities within the AS400 managing team.
3. Common Certified System Administrator
Offered by COMMON, the largest professional association of IBM technology users, the common certified system administrator has passed the tests of a broad range of skills relevant to effective AS400 system administration.
It is a testament to the administrator’s comprehensive skills and is recognized across the AS400 industry for its rigor and relevance.
4. Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM)
While not exclusively focused on AS400, this certification benefits administrators in sectors where AS400 systems are used, such as manufacturing and distribution.
It enhances the administrator’s understanding of key operations managed by AS400 systems and helps contribute to more effective overall system management.
All four certifications require passing exams and sometimes fulfilling experience requirements. They are designed to keep professionals updated on the latest technologies and best practices related to AS400 administration.
But without understanding what challenges and complexities a professional AS400 administrator can solve, you won’t be able to make an ideal hiring decision.
Challenges & Complexities Associated with AS400 Administration
Managing AS400 systems is difficult because of the complexities and challenges that may arise during the execution.
Here are the major roadblocks that a professional AS400 administrator can help you solve:
1. Legacy system integration
AS400 systems often contain critical legacy applications that may not seamlessly integrate with newer technologies. AS400 administrators face the challenge of modernizing these applications without hindering the existing business processes.
So, how can the issue be solved?
Your AS400 admin can employ tools for legacy integration and modernization and establish a phased approach that minimizes risk by gradually introducing changes.
2. System compatibility
Apart from solving legacy system integration, updating the AS400 systems with new software and hardware is continuously needed. However, ensuring compatibility can be a complex task.
What approach can you take?
Your AS400 administrators must conduct thorough compatibility testing for any new implementation.
Keeping detailed system documentation and maintaining a robust testing environment can help address compatibility issues.
3. Data access and management
AS400 systems may contain large data sets that must be accessed and analyzed. Making the data accessible in a user-friendly format can be challenging for an administrator.
How will you tackle this?
Your AS400 admin should be knowledgeable about modern data access and reporting tools that interface effectively with the system to provide users with the necessary data insights.
4. Security concerns
Cyber threats pose a major hurdle in the modern business ecosystem, and ensuring the security of AS400 systems has become more challenging than ever.
- Regular security audits
- Staying abreast of security patches
- Implementing comprehensive security frameworks
…are ways your AS4000 administrators can keep AS400 systems secure.
5. Performance tuning
Balancing system resources to achieve optimal performance for new and existing applications can be difficult, especially when dealing with the system’s complex workload.
What should you do?
Ask your AS400 administrators to continuously monitor and use system tools to analyze and optimize performance metrics.
6. Regulatory compliance
Ensuring the AS400 system complies with an increasingly complex industry and legal standards can be daunting for your business.
Your administrators must conduct regular reviews and stay informed about relevant regulations to manage compliance effectively.
Addressing these challenges requires AS400 administrators to deeply understand the system’s technical aspects and a strategic vision to guide its evolution.
Finding the right talent with the desired skill set to manage your AS400 system is hard… really hard!
That’s where you can trust professionals at Integrative Systems.
Integrative Systems for Best AS400 Administration Services
When considering top-tier AS400 administration services provider, partnering with Integrative Systems is a wise choice.
Our comprehensive and expert support in the AS400 arena and a proven track record of assisting hundreds of global companies in scaling their IBM i environments help us stand out.
Also, our commitment to maintaining robust business continuity has established us as a leading service provider in the IBM i sector.
We are equipped with the top talent in the AS400 industry, and you’ll get the best AS400 administration experience while associating with one of the industry leaders.
The standard operating procedures at Integrative Systems are robust, and we provide you with complete transparency in the projects with agile project management methodologies.
Ready to experience the best AS400 administration service by hiring AS400 experts from Integrative Systems?
Let’s collaborate and kick-start your next project discussion now. Please get in touch at [email protected].