Feeds

IBM bets the farm on big data in annual report

Hardware and chip research stay, servers and storage 'shift' to Linux and pastures new

Build a business case: developing custom apps

IBM is utterly focussed on big data and analytics as its future growth engines, according to its annual report published over the weekend. But the company has hedged a little on the future of its semiconductor and hardware businesses.

Available here, the least-brochure-like bits are to be found in the A Letter from the Chairman (PDF) Virginia Rometty, who offers the insight that plenty of organisations are choking on data. To clear their airways, different infrastructure, hybrid cloud and cunning analytics will be needed.

Rometty claims IBM has “built the world’s broadest and deepest capabilities in Big Data and analytics—both technology and expertise.” Big Blue apparently has 15,000 people in the field, including 400 mathematicians, and is now directing two thirds of its research effort towards analytics.

On the cloud front, Rometty claims “IBM today is the leader in enterprise cloud” thanks to “investments of $7 billion on 15 acquisitions, most notably SoftLayer in 2013.” Leadership is also due to the fact “We provide the full spectrum of cloud delivery models—infrastructure as a service, platform as a service, software as a service and business process as a service,” along with “1,500 cloud patents and … by thousands of cloud experts.”

Just how the likes of AWS and Microsoft might respond to those statements, The Reg cannot say. We're guessing they'll dispute IBM's choice of leadership metrics.

On the infrastructure front, IBM says selling Lenovo was “consistent with our continuing strategy of exiting lower- margin businesses, such as PCs, hard-disk drives and retail store solutions.”

“But let me be clear—we are not exiting hardware,” Rometty adds. “IBM will remain a leader in high-performance and high-end systems, storage and cognitive computing, and we will continue to invest in R&D for advanced semiconductor technology.”

Just what is meant by continuing to invest in semiconductors isn't explained, which may keep eyebrows raised after recent rumours suggested Big Blue would offload its chip business. The phrase “continue to invest” does not rule out a sale and ongoing joint research engagement.

Rometty also signals “... shifting the IBM hardware business for new realities and opportunities.” That means “... accelerating the move of our Systems product portfolio—in particular, Power and storage—to growth opportunities and to Linux, following the lead of our successful mainframe business.”

The letter also points out that IBM continues to do well financially, continuing an eleven-year run of growth in earnings-per-share even if pre-tax income dipped by eight per cent. The big bet on big data is expected to turn that last item around, before big trouble brews. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.