As he has done for years, Bob Cringely has posted his 2017 predictions. Number six ought to be a fun one to watch.
Prediction #6 — Come-to-Jesus time for IBM. The most important 2017 event for IBM will be the retirement at 60 of CEO Ginni Rometty. The future of Big Blue absolutely depends on the actions this year of her successor. If she follows the example of the two previous IBM CEOs Rometty will stick around for a year as chairman before flying-off to paradise in her jet.
The reason I call this a Come-to-Jesus time for IBM is because the next CEO will have a chance to do something different with the company. If he or she decides to break with the past IBM has a chance. If the new CEO takes whatever game plan Rometty hands over and runs with that, then IBM is doomed.
Maybe just as interesting, in one of his other predictions, Prediction #1, in fact, he talks about the Cloud Arms Race. In it, he only mentions IBM as an aside, with Amazon, Google, and Microsoft being the leaders. I suppose all of the talk from IBM about their cloud, is just that, talk. Oh, there may be some companies in their cloud, but not in the numbers that fill Amazon, Google, or Microsoft data centers.
It is as Bob Cringely admits early in his post, a very negative column about IBM.
A month ago I began hearing about impending layoffs at IBM, but what could I say beyond “layoffs are coming?” This time my first clues came not from American IBMers but from those working for Big Blue abroad. Big layoffs were coming, they feared, following an earnings shortfall that caused panic in Armonk with the prospect that IBM might after all miss its long-stated earnings target for 2015. Well the layoffs began hitting a couple weeks ago just before I went into an involuntary technical shutdown trying to move this rag from one host to another. So I, who like to be the first to break these stories, have to in this case write the second day lede: what does it all mean?
It means the IBM that many of us knew in the past is gone and the IBM of today has management that is, frankly, insane.
As predicted by Bob, the comments are overwhelming negative as well.
And what of the reference in the comments to the City of Austin? It seems that “Smarter Planet” sometimes isn’t as smart as the advertisements lead you to believe. See the link below for an article from a reporter in Austin.
Regardless, from the comments and some back channel conversations I’ve seen, the article is spot on.
Link: statesman.com: IBM blames City of Austin for ongoing billing problems, says it’s owed $4 million