back to article IBM wants everyone to marvel at the size of its Strategic Imperatives

The latest financial headlines emitted by the faltering enterprise juggernaut that is IBM indicate that its years-long efforts to turn a corner might be paying off, though not everyone on Wall Street agrees. Big Blue last week reported a sales uplift of 4 per cent to $20.4bn for Q2 ended 30 June. This equated to a 2 per cent …

  1. The Empress

    The old IBM is back

    And not in a good way. After obscuring their financials to the point where their CFO is pulling numbers out of his ass, IBM has returned to mass firings. Who doesn't think that the Board compensation committee decided to award execs according to how many people they toss out and that alone.

  2. IGnatius T Foobar ✅

    India Business Machines?

    Weren't they some sort of 20th century technology company or something?

  3. EnviableOne Silver badge


    Still a solution looking for a problem ...

    They throw it into everything, and say now with watson, but what and how your sposed to use it, the dont know

  4. defiler Silver badge

    "Do you not marvel?!"

    Too ill to RTFA. Came here to find that sentence. Had to correct an injustice.

    Mine's the one with the bog roll in the pocket...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Amazing how tax cuts suddenly become increased profits.

    I see IBM is now including DB2 sales as "strategic Imperatives". No wonder its doing well, seems pretty much everything they sell now is lumped into that bucket thanks to the magic of creative accounting.

    1. fandom

      "IBM paid 13.5 per cent tax rate, some $353m, in the quarter compared to 4.5 per cent or $111m in the year-ago quarter."

      Indeed, tax cuts, that's why they paid more tax.

  6. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Idiotic Boring Morons

    Given the uptick is caused by a cyclical increase in big iron sales the fundamental weaknesses are still there. The most fundamental weakness is clueless mismanagement that is destructive to morale and customer loyalty. High morale is a good sign a company has a clue both in its business strategies and in how it handles employees. It has many positives. Customer loyalty is earned by execution and meeting customer needs. Loyalty is weird because its not whether the customer has a fondness for the vendor but more about the believing the vendor delivers what it promises with minimal fuss. In other words the customer trusts the vendor to deliver what the vendor promises on time and at the agreed price. Fail the customer and they will be earnestly evaluating their options and if lock in is not an issue they will leave.

  7. Joseph Haig

    Am I allowed to ask ...

    ... what on earth are 'Strategic Imperatives'?

    The line "Strategic Imperatives – the areas that IBM has bet its future on ..." suggests that this is industry recognised term but Google just shows me some companies' marketing bumf.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Am I allowed to ask ...

      It's a made up phrase to try and suggest that IBM have "turned the corner" and that management "now know what to do to grow the business".

      It's made up of random bits of the organisation that are growing in order to demonstrate everything is OK while they focus on their core business of mainframes and firing people.

      Should you be worried if you are an investor? Probably not - the idiots in management don't understand how to grow an IT company but do understand how to continue to deliver safe returns for your pension or other investment needs.

      Should you be worried if you are an employee? It depends on whether you're classed as technical or are involved in keeping the financial wheels turning...

    2. sorry, what?

      Re: Strategic Imperatives

      Funny, I first heard this phrase when looking for a job a half dozen years back, finding a company called "Strategic Imperatives" (still going in Staines I believe, and wondering to myself what that company name really meant...

      Imperatives are things that are vitally important, and strategy is related to long-term goals and how to achieve them. So I guess what IBM are saying with this name is that they are so distracted with so many different parts of the business that they are having to throw out most of their strategy and focus just on those aspects that are imperative to their (management) survival?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Am I allowed to ask ...

      the industry recognizes that it is marketing bumf

  8. cdcdcd

    I think this article is very unfair. A lot of the growth in sales of mainframes are part of hybrid contracts. In short one part of the business doesn't eat the other. The move to hybrid approaches is significant within massive data hungry industries such as banking and petroleum. IBM have acquired and renewed many such contracts over the last year and this will likely to have involved upgrading existing "on-site" hardware. in short the analysts point of view is not very meaningful without that context.

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