Questions You Should Ask When Upgrading to the IBM Cloud Pak for Data

Questions You Should Ask When Upgrading to Cloud Pak for Data
March 11th, 2021

IBM is actively encouraging existing IBM Cognos Analytics and Planning Analytics (TM1) clients to migrate to their new model of licensing called Cloud Pak for Data.  IBM renewal reps, sales reps and partners are all encouraged to present and encourage clients to migrate.  They call this the Cognos Modernization Upgrade program.  For forward thinking Cognos and Planning Analytics clients, this is a great opportunity.  This blog will cover the Questions You Should Ask When Upgrading to the IBM Cloud Pak for Data.

What is an IBM Cloud Pak for Data?

With the acquisition of Red Hat, IBM is in the process of combining their technologies.  As a result, in 2020 they released the new IBM Cloud Pak programs which packages Red Hat OpenShift with various IBM offerings.  These programs also come with new licensing models that allow Planning Analytics and Cognos clients to leverage Red Hat and IBM’s containerized environment.  The concept is that the containerized environment will allow for faster upgrades, more integration, and more flexibility.  

Reference: See our earlier blog, Modernizing Cognos Licenses the Path to the Future with Cloud Pak for Data which goes into more details on IBM Cloud Pak for Cognos Analytics and Planning Analytics customers.  Or visit IBM’s site

Does your company currently own IBM Cognos Analytics or Planning Analytics on-premise, perpetual licenses? 

If you have owned Cognos for a while and are not leveraging IBM’s SaaS option where IBM does all your upgrades and backups, you are probably on a perpetual license, which means you own it as an asset on your Balance Sheet.  The reason you want to know this is that this helps to determine which options are available to you when trading up to the IBM Cloud Pak for Data. 

If you don’t know what type of licensing you own, email and we can help you.

IBM Has a Couple Flavors of IBM Cloud Pak for Data for Planning Analytics and Cognos

  •  A perpetual license that requires you to upgrade your existing licenses to one that includes the Cloud Pak for Data entitlements.
  • A subscription model that can be on-premise, but is a subscription so typically an operating expense, not an asset.

There is no right answer as to which is a better option.  The best flavor of the IBM Cloud Pak for Data depends on a few factors that are unique for each client, like does your CFO want operating expenses or capital expenses? 

For more information on this check out the article, Can I capitalize my system implementation or get tax advantages?

Lodestar Solutions is happy to discuss the options to help you choose the right option.  Just email us at

Does your company plan to leverage advanced technology and simplify the costs of connecting to lots of data sources?

If you answered no, I must ask you, “What are you thinking?”  Of course, your company wants to leverage advanced technology.  IBM has invested in amazing technology and now they are starting to blend them to better serve their clients.  I fully appreciate that maybe now is not the time to implement the new technology.  Maybe you don’t want to be an early adopter, but what if I told you there’s a why to upgrade your licenses so when you are ready you already have the licensing needed?

Now is a good time to set yourself up for long term success!

This is purely speculation, but I have seen it many times in the tech industry, clients that upgrade their licenses early in the roll out usually do so at the lowest price.  So, if I was a Cognos or Planning Analytics client, I would consider trading my licenses up now, but keep my software on-premises or in the cloud, so business as usual.  This would allow me later, when I am ready, to use the new technology of the IBM Cloud Pak for Data.

Here’s the IBM Secret -

The IBM team, at least in North America, has committed to help make it possible for clients to leverage their support renewal dollars to upgrade their licenses.  Everyone’s situation is a little unique, but let’s chat and see how you can get even more functionality out of your IBM Planning Analytics and Cognos support dollars.

When is your current IBM software up for renewal?

The best time to upgrade your licensing is the same time it’s always been.


When you upgrade your licensing, IBM includes 1 year of support and subscription.  Therefore, the best time to discuss upgrading to IBM Cloud Pak for Data Analytics is a couple months before your renewal.  The worst time is if you just renewed.  Contact Lodestar Solutions today and let’s start the IBM Cloud Pak for Data conversation and explore if trading up your licensing is a strategic move for you!

Email to set up a complimentary discussion about your licensing.

More Questions?

I hope this blog on Questions You Should Ask When Upgrading to the IBM Cloud Pak for Data was informative, but I also appreciate this is just the tip of the iceberg.  This technology and licensing is so new, it’s constantly evolving, but I believe it’s time to start seeing down the road and set your IT team up for success.  Let’s continue the conversation.  Email and set up a time for us to discover how you can get more out of your IBM Planning Analytics and Cognos investment.

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