Friday, June 17, 2016
A major tech company -- 105 years old -- is seeking to reinvent itself. What else can the company be but IBM? IBM has changed constantly since the days of the mechanical tabulating machine. It has been in and out of numerous businesses, and it is in the process again of changing the corporate DNA. The company is a competitor whose dominant days are behind it, but there is always a chance, particularly with its artificial intelligence called Watson, that it will emerge at the head of markets again. The internet age has not been kind to IBM and Silicon Valley tech companies are not afraid of the company or its size. That is a huge turnabout since the days of the FUD factor (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) that kept IT people in the IBM camp. We are in an era when it will be difficult for any one company to dominate for long. Alphabet holds the title of Big Dog temporarily, but it is uncertain it will last. Apple dominates with consumer devices, but already there are complaints that the company no longer innovates as it has. IBM is a huge company that will require major new businesses to turn around. Can it reinvent itself again and tell its story credibly?