In mid-May, Amalgam Insights (AI) attended IBM Vision, an event focused on business performance, both as an attendee and a presenter. This has been my favorite IBM tradeshow for several years, as it focuses directly on key concerns that I have looked at throughout my career: financial management, enterprise governance, and compliance. Because everyone at this show is focused on some form of BI, performance management, or risk, it is easy to speak with a business user, consultant, or IBM professional at this show and to quickly find common professional ground.
This year, I took three key findings away from IBM Vision that should be of ongoing value for financial departments within the enterprise.
Amalgam Insights (AI) recently attended IBM Interconnect under the Social Influencer program with the goal of understanding how IBM is planning to position itself in context of technology market changes, investor demands to increase revenue, and the challenges of embracing innovation as one of the largest enterprises on the planet.
In observing IBM over the past few years, AI investigators have noted in the past that IBM faces the challenge of needing to create billion-dollar businesses just to maintain existing revenue. It is not enough for IBM to create a single startup such as Pivotal or Airwatch that ends up becoming a market leader in analytic application development or enterprise mobility. To drive 80 billion+ dollars in annual revenue, IBM needs to grow enough businesses to maintain pace while simultaneously divesting cash cows and declining margin businesses that are not strategic to future growth. Over the past couple of years, this has meant selling off assets such as Salary.com and semiconductor chip manufacturing (and possibly its mainframe division) while investing deeply into systems and capabilities that will drive upcoming business capabilities.