Global tech major International Business Machines Corporation has surprised everyone by splitting itself into two companies by the end of 2021. The decision has been taken by IBM to focus on the high-margin cloud computing business and enterprise digital transformation efforts.
IBM mentioned that it would split into two companies by untying the managed infrastructure services unit of its Global Technology Services division. The new company would exclusively focus on legacy infrastructure business and gets its leadership structure in place soon. According to IBM, the unit presently serves around 4600 clients with an order backlog of $60 billion.
“We are focused on accelerating our growth strategy and seizing the $1 trillion hybrid-cloud opportunities. Today, hybrid cloud and AI are swiftly becoming the locus of commerce, transactions, and over time, of computing itself. This shift is driven by the changing needs of our clients, who find that choosing an open hybrid cloud approach is 2.5 times more valuable than relying on public cloud alone,” stated Arvind Krishna, IBM Chief Executive Officer, in a blog post.
The foundation stone of this spin-off was laid by IBM’s $34 bn acquisition of Red Hat. The Red Hat buy helped IBM to gain capabilities to build an exceptional-quality hybrid cloud. IBM believes that Red Hat’s open-source, hybrid cloud platform will form the basis for developing and market higher-end AI-enabled software applications and solutions in the future.
“With Red Hat in our portfolio, we have since launched our Cloud Paks and strengthened our systems portfolio. We built an industry-specific cloud designed to tackle the most stringent needs of the financial services industry. And we beefed up our hybrid cloud and AI capabilities by acquiring two companies, Spanugo and WDG Automation,” Krishna elucidates.
An intelligent move
This announcement of IBM to split into companies is an exciting development as it will enable the corporation to fortify its focus on a profitable business line, i.e., cloud. In the post-COVID-19 world, enterprises are expected to inspire their business models and infrastructure modernization with robust digital transformation initiatives (See: Technology trends for businesses in 2020).
The rising adoption of remote-work is accelerating the adoption of cloud solutions. Shortly, technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics, automation, and augmented reality will be implemented hugely by organizations. As such, IBM would want to capture a bigger pie of the high-value cloud software and solutions. The move will also help IBM become more agile by simplifying and optimizing its operating model.
Due to the low demand for its software and mainframe servers, the company has been aggressively expanding its cloud portfolio in recent times. IBM has been making several rounds of reshuffle and readjustments in its business strategy over the last couple of years.
IBM has been facing significant challenges to improve its top line due to the strained services business. It has also announced massive job-cuts recently in a bid to restructure its business operations. It looks like this new spin-off may be a turning point in the company’s 109 years history and help it deliver more remarkable results in the times to come.
IBM currently has over 350,000 employees and expects to spend about $5 billion in expenses related to the division’s operational and other aspects. Immediately after the announcement, the company’s shares saw a jump of 6% on NYSE.