One of the headline figures of IBM’s annual report for 2013 is the growth of its cloud business, which was up 69 per cent over the year, bringing in a total of $4.4 billion (£2.6 billion).
In a letter from the Chairwoman, Virginia Rometty, IBM made it clear that the company has three main strategic goals: To transform markets and industries with big data analysis, to enable “systems of engagement” for enterprises, and to reshape enterprise IT infrastructure to fit with the “era of the cloud.”
Rometty said: “To capture the potential of this moment, IBM is executing a bold agenda. It is reshaping your company, and we believe it will reshape our industry.”
The letter noted that by 2016, over a quarter of all applications will be available in the cloud, and currently 85 per cent of new software is being designed for the cloud. In other words, the future isn’t bright – the future is cloudy.
IBM went on to underline its position as a leading force in the enterprise cloud arena, citing some $7 billion (£4.2 billion) worth of acquisitions (15 of them in total, the most prominent being the snapping up of SoftLayer back in June of last year).
Naturally, the company is still looking towards further expansion cloud-wards. IBM pointed out that it has 25 data centres worldwide, with a $1.2 billion (£720 million) investment at the beginning of this year securing the opening of 15 more (in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, France, Germany and a number of other countries).
Rometty commented: “As we actively embrace cloud in order to deliver ‘IBM as a Service’ to our clients, we expect to see significant benefits in client experience, revenue growth and enterprise productivity.”
Not everywhere was as strong as IBM’s performance on the cloud front, sadly, as the company’s overall financials missed expectations. Operating pre-tax income was down 8 per cent, and 2013’s revenue of $99.8 billion (£60 billion) was down 5 per cent.
As we reported recently, IBM plans to cut a quarter of its hardware division workforce as part of its radical restructuring plans that mark a shift towards the cloud and analytics.