Re: walking dead
Its pretty obvious IBM will cease to exist in 5 years time.
On the contrary, IBM is a successful, high margin mega-corp. They have been deliberately surrendering low margin sales over the past few years, letting the low rent outsourcers pick up that business. They're trying to create a dual model - the actual delivery is moving to all offshore, cheap as chips, no better than anybody else, but the front of house sales is all white-collar, high-tech image, respectable, top dollar.
That's the importance of Watson and the Cognitive Systems division - margins high, sales low, but hugely important in making prospective buyers of the commodity services believe there's something different about IBM, even though they're not themselves buying those advanced services. If they keep to the plan of cutting costs, the expect margins will pick up, and they won't need to worry about chasing low margin revenue growth. The Reg harping on about shrinking revenue is missing the point, even though it is correct.
Of course, this illustrates the worst face of international business. IBM are (almost) as bad as any other US tech company at tax avoidance, they're trying to abstract a huge amount of money from target markets (eg the UK), then transfer half of that value to wage slaves in Chennai, Mumbai etc, and the other half to the US shareholders, with the minimum value left in the local market. IBM want to take from this market, use the full benefit of freedom of trade, of the UK's stable commercial and legal systems, but give nothing back. Mind you, I'll wager they publish a pretty brochure all about their "corporate social responsibility".