IBM has enjoyed very good press about its switch from a hardware producer to a high tech service provider. But … is there a darker side? Cringely says “yes”. And he is going after Big Blue for its strategy of selling top priced business tech services without insuring top quality. What is going on? IBM is offshoring all of its service workforce to dramatically cut costs.
And here is the very sad conclusion
If IBM is planning a 78 percent staff reduction, then that will of necessity involve all USA operations, not just Global Services. Hardware, systems, software, storage, consulting, etc. will all see serious staff cuts. This means IBM could be moving a lot of its manufacturing and product support offshore. Raleigh, Lexington, Rochester, and several other IBM communities are about to lose a lot of jobs.
Every non-executive job at IBM is viewed as a commodity that can be farmed out to anyone, anywhere.
IBM was once so special but today there’s little difference between IBM, AOL, or Yahoo except that IBM has better PR. All three are profitable, something we tend to forget when it comes to AOL and Yahoo. All three are effectively adrift. All three are steadily selling off the bits of themselves that no longer seem to work. When Global Services is gone, what will IBM sell next?
This is not pretty. But I do like the way that Cringe finished up his series. Instead of just leaving us all with doom and gloom — with the story of another great institution gone bust, he suggests STANDARDS to assess what IT service providers are doing. I found these to be very informative.
BTW - this is an interesting case study for the role of expertise in starting off a dialogue. Cringe has taken the “mantel of expert” in his posts. And he has bravely delivered a series of conclusions that merit response. Whether he is right of wrong, we owe him a debt of gratitude for starting off a challenging thread of conversation. That is where great ideas come from.