Indeed. We got a resume just today from someone who had been with IBM for a number of years. All that I can offer to them is that they are going into a healthier job market for tech than has been seen for quite a while.
IBM has been relatively resilient in the face of the rise of the new IT giants and the economic crisis of a few years ago. Now this seems like a delayed moment of restructuring and contraction--one that is reflective of their strategy more than any bigger trends in the industry. They have moved from being a hardware company to more of a software provider and that leaves a lot of people out of the loop. The cuts began last year actually, but they are intensifying.
We shouldn't make the mistake of thinking this is a transformation that afffects the United States more than other parts of the world--even if IBM is using terms such as "rebalancing." Obviously, they have already trimmed 1000 jobs from India. It'll be interesting to follow just how many jobs are cut outside of the US compared to within the US, in order to track the ongoing trend of out-sourcing and its impact on such large-scale contractions.
Prabhakar, you are right in your observation. Companies like HP which prided itself in the "reinvent" campaign did not quite pull it off. I often find the middle management in companies like these (that have gone thru big downsizing) just focus on "managing" and lose touch completely with technology. I don't see how such managers can lead in reinventing and keep the company on a growth trajectory.
'Institutionalized' is a good term for it. My Mother was a social worker, and she did her Master's thesis on institutionalization in mental hospitals. People become dependent on the specific structure provided by an organization like that. It is so foreign to the way that I think that I have difficulty relating to it, but I recognize that it exists.