lamp-posts and blame
If you fed IBMs announcement through a bullsh!t filter, you'd probably get nothing out the end. However, if you turned the setting down a bit, so it just removed the total BLX, it might, just come out that IBM want to sell local councils a chap(ess) with a calculator, as they have realised two things:
- local councils have access to vast amount of money, as they can just tap all their residents for as much as they want - without ever having to justify it. And they'd like some of it, too, please.
- council employees aren't as bright as IBM (thinks its) people (are). They therefore need somepone else to state the bleedin' obvious to them and to back that up with reports: for which they charge by the word, that no-one will ever read but can point to if challenged.
- third (did I say two things?) the one thing that councils, or any other government body wants more than it's limitless supply of other people's money is indemnity. The ability to have another person or company who they can point the finger at and say "it wasn't our fault. It was them." This is the real value that IBM are selling here and one that any elected body will pay dearly for. The role of "can carrier" for all the stupid decisions that local councils will now be able to foist on them, rather than having to make up excuses for themselves - which no one ever believes, anyway.
I would also expect that IBM's reports will be used more to justify councils' random decisions, than to inform them, in the same way that drunks use lamp-posts.