From an economics perspective
It's pretty solid.
Large companies aren't the best at innovating, so there's no guarantee at all that spending that large cash pile on research and development would give the same shareholder return that a direct cash transfer to them will.
Those shareholders can then invest the money in whatever innovative smaller companies they want and try to find better returns.
If IBM are acknowledging that they're too big and too cumbersome to react quickly to new market opportunities, then I wouldn't be too upset as a shareholder.
The problem only comes if stupid people think that the earnings growth can go on forever and pump up the price too far but given that IBMs price/earnings ratio is 14 I don't think that's a big worry.
So what's the problem?