Has Ibm Become Irrelevant
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Years ago the technology industry was defined by IBM and
the "BUNCH" (Burroughs, Univac, NCR, CDC, and Honeywell). One by one, the BUNCH
slowly evaporated and have either been merged into other entities or taken a
back seat to others, such as Digital, Wang, Data General, and others, all of
which have also ridden off into the sunset. In the software industry, the big
guns used to be Cincom, Cullinane, MSA, and Computer Associates, but it is now
hard to find anyone in the business who even remembers their names.
Today, Wall Street defines the technology industry by such names as Google,
Apple, Cisco, Dell, Microsoft, Priceline, Facebook, Intuit, Yahoo!, and others.
Remarkably, IBM's name rarely appears in this regards which leads me to believe
they are starting to fade from view as the BUNCH did years earlier.
There was a time when you mentioned the name "IBM" it conjured up images of
mainframes, midrange computers, PC's, networks, operating systems, DBMS' and
office equipment. Today, I'm not too sure exactly what it represents. I think
they still sell "big iron" but they have abdicated just about everything else to
others. They talk about such things as middleware, storage devices, and file
servers, which is a far cry from the comprehensive product line that once
dominated the industry.
For years it was well understood in the corporate world that you could never get
fired for recommending the purchase of IBM products. It was the safe bet. Now
they are lucky to be even considered in the running. >From a hardware point of
view, I still believe they know how to engineer products. I still have some of
their PC's which, when you look under the cover, are solidly built and much
better than just about anyone else's. But IBM now finds itself in the awkward
position of having to prove itself as a viable solution provider.
IBM used to be well known for strong marketing tactics, some say heavy handed,
but this started to change in the 1990's as IBM acquiesced the desktop to
Microsoft. Instead of dominating the industry, they now appear to be content to
lay back on the ropes absorbing one punch after another. What bothers me is that
they give the appearance of a company who is no longer in charge of their own
destiny and rely on others for direction. To me, this is the sign of a company
on the verge of becoming irrelevant.
If you would like to discuss this with me in more depth, please do not hesitate
to send me an e-mail.
About the Author
Tim Bryce is a writer and management consultant located in Palm Harbor,
He can be contacted at:
Copyright © 2008 Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-02-09 17:56:16 in Business Articles