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Continuous Transformation at IBM: Addressing Disruption from New Technologies

Title Author(s) Type Topic(s) Comments Date
Continuous Transformation at IBM: Addressing Disruption from New TechnologiesMocker, Martin
Kagan, Martin H.
Ross, Jeanne W.
Working PaperGlobalization
Enterprise Architecture
Data Management, Analytics, and Use
Digital Innovation
Digitizing Business Processes
Collaboration and Social Media
Mergers and Acquisitions
The Cloud and Consumerization
Business Complexity
Abstract: Over its more than one hundred years in existence, IBM had reinvented itself multiple times. The twenty years leading up to 2014, however, were particularly turbulent: IBM had shifted from country to global brand profit and loss statements; shifted its sales emphasis from individual products to integrated solutions and services; and moved to become a globally integrated enterprise with globally standardized business processes. In 2014, the rapidly expanding adoption of cloud, analytics, mobile, and social technologies generated a lot of excitement in the industry. IBM management believed that these technologies presented a huge business growth opportunity. Simultaneously, management viewed cloud, analytics, mobile, and social technologies as a disruptive force demanding transformative changes to the way the company worked internally. Earlier transformations had positioned IBM to deal with business changes globally. Nonetheless, introducing new ways of thinking and working to over 400,000 employees in 175 countries was a daunting task. Management pursued this latest transformation with the belief that the effort would determine business success in the digital economy.

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