IBM has the test of ages in the next 10 years. It has done well in the past and that is history. It is a great firm but Apple, Amazon, Google and MST are eating into the cakes of IBM. It is making money in software but what is software is commoditized?
@Susan, as i was researching this piece, i was reminded at how broadly IBM took its product portfolio. Top of mind for me was, of course, mainframes, then a big push into software and of course the ThinkPad. When you see it all together, though, you realize it's immense.
Nothing about early magnetic disks or sealed "Winchester" drives, nothing about floppy disks, nothing about high speed printers, nothing about their tape drives and robot archives, the switch to semiconductor memory, pioneering transactions and database with CICS/IMS/DB/2 and System/R, SQL, development of languages like PL/1, nothing about the PC or OS/2, advanced research on superconducting, on atomic force microscopes, research labs on the semantics of programming languages, introduction of virtual machines .. huge changes in the business. Even things IBM did not necessarily wish to do like opening up and documenting all interfaces after the consent decree, caused tectonic shifts in the industry.
Some of the items in the list seem relatively minor.
True. These images don't represent deep tech so much, but are more broadly accessible. Just goes to show you, we have to do a part 2. It is amazing how IBM accomplished. What strikes me is the amount of people they employed and still employ. It makes the layoffs seem small.
>>No matter what happens, IBM will continue to remain in the electronics business with a trademark of their own.
Why the qualification with no matter what? IBM has better chance in the software industry than electronics. I am not sure there is any product in my house that has IBM logo. The same applies in the office. Sure, it is a great firm but it has a challenging future.
@Susan, we may have to go industry by industry (IBM and Big Busienss, IBM and SMBs, IBM and defense, etc.) or maybe by by categories (components, subsystems, systems, software, etc). At this rate... it could be a full time job. :)
>> Job security even if working for IBM won't promise it, writing about it might.
There is nothing like Job Security in the 21st century. Anyone that thinks otherwise is wrong. It is unprecedented to expect job security when we have all the resumes in LinkedIn with no fear from employers. People should expect the job can go any hour and be prepared.
Yes, the brave new world. No job security as long as the employers have the power. With the unemployment rate as it is, it looks like the companies will have the upper hand for quite a while, if not forever. IBM is still a great company and I expect it will continue to be.
1981 IBM introduced the IBM PC with an 8088 processor and dual 5 1/4" floppy disks. Even though they were slow to get into the personal computer market and the device was assembled from off the shelf components using an Intel CPU instead of their usual in house designed processors, it made companies take the PC market seriously since for many, IBM was synonomus with the word, "computer".
The fact is that IBM has never restructured, and remains exactly the same as it was in 1956. It is a high-margin, relationship oriented, solution selling marketing company. Was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. If IBM can't see a 15% net margin on any product or solution it is offering, they get rid of it. It is not IBM who is restructuring. It is the world that is restructuring, and IBM is merely adapting to a changing environment, while IBM remains unchanged, exactly the same in all essential respects.
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