When I was a kid, IBM built typewriters. I actually had one and produced some schoolwork on it. At some point I learned they were a force in large computing. Then they entered the PC market, and eventually the Thinkpad laptops were coveted items. Later I encountered them when a large company I worked for was looking at outsourcing our IT service for Big Blue to run.
In over a 100 years, IBM has thrived, despite ups and downs, and re-invented themselves many times. Early in my career, lots of managers used IBM hardware and software, with the adage that “no one gets fired for buying IBM.” Whether it was the best fit or not, it was hard to get in trouble for using what many others had chosen.
I haven’t heard a lot about IBM lately, but wasn’t surprised to see this article about them spinning off the managed services part of their business. I think that has always been a low margin business, though surprisingly a successful one. It made Ross Perot a very rich man.
However, with the cloud world, margins are higher. The cloud isn’t necessarily cheaper for businesses. They pay more to have flexibility, less up front capital expenditure, and less commitment. While IBM doesn’t often come up when talking about AWS, Azure, and GCP, it’s listed as one of the top 5.
I don’t know if it will catch the others, but I do know more and more companies are looking to cloud and hybrid infrastructure, and I would bet IBM will have lots of success here.