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

Boost IT visibility and business value

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. ®

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.