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IBM at 100: Will cannibalise for Cloud

IBM turned 100 today. Since its humble beginnings as Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation in June 16, 1911, IBM has survived through many ups and downs in the economy including paradigm shifts in the IT industry. One of the biggest shifts is happening right now in the form of Cloud services, which the company is poised to sacrifice its own business to the tune of $7 billion to be part of the revolution.

At a reunion of past IBM Australia managing directors in Sydney today, IBM’s present managing director Andrew Stevens said despite intense competition the company has “a very serious investment of talent and financial resources in Cloud computing”.

“Cloud is something that is obviously very visible and we have more than 2000 Cloud engagements world-wide,” Stevens said.

Slideshow: Celebrating 100 years of IBM.

In recent years public Cloud services from companies like Amazon and Google have provided alternatives to traditional systems and software vendors like IBM, and more established vendors like Microsoft and Apple are aggressively moving into the mass-market Cloud space.

A high-profile local example of this trend is Coca-Cola Amatil, which moved an in-house Lotus Notes installtion to Microsoft’s BPOS Cloud service for some 9000 employees.

Stevens said IBM’s 2015 roadmap is to have $7 billion of revenue that will “shift”, or “cannibalise”, existing business and a $3 billion of net income increase arising from Cloud services.

“I have to say there will be a difference between a public Cloud and a private Cloud environment – before you get to hybrid Clouds around industry types,” he said. “Health is an ideal example of where there would be a hybrid Cloud around health industry providers.”

IBM Australia managing directors present at the reunion were: Brian Finn (1980 to 1993) Bob Savage (1996 to 1999), David Thodey (1999 to 2001) Philip Bullock (2001 to 2005), Glenn Boreham (2006 to 2011); and Andrew Stevens from this year. David Thodey is now CEO of Telstra.

Stevens said Cloud is one of many challenges, opportunities and innovations and IBM is “right in the thick of it”.

“Challenge and competition is good and the benefit of that is innovation and I am confident in our ability to come up with solutions based on the deep relationships we have,” he said.

Follow Rodney Gedda on Twitter: @rodneygedda

Follow CIO Australia on Twitter: @CIO_Australia


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