Abstract The many uses of computers in current times are far and wide. From the invention of supercomputers, used by our space programs, to the hand held calculator students use during exams. These big and small inventions can in some way shape or form be accredited to IBM’s great innovations. If it were not for the great contributions of this company technology, in general, would not be the same today. IBM’s contributions originate from the basic language of computers, bits and bytes, and extend exponentially to modern computers.
The company history is a long and vibrant one. With hick ups along the way they have managed to sustain a long lasting stamp in the world of information technology. In this paper we will first review the history of the company at hand. We will discuss some of the setbacks and accomplishments that the company had to endure during the beginning. Next we will discuss the internal and external factors that have led to the longtime overall success of the company.
Along with the internal and external factors, we will also take a step back and view the company’s current situation. We will examine the current difficulties that the company is facing and whether these bumps will prohibit the company’s future success. Introduction/ Organization Background IBM has a history dating back to very humble beginnings. Their first bit of success wasn’t their success at all but in turn sparked what would become IBM.
The invention of the time clock, a device used to record the time employees would check in and check out, is one of many inventions that IBM built on to reach its present day success [Anonymous]. The Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation was born in 1911 following the merger of three machinery companies: Hollerith's Tabulating Machine Company, Computing Scale Company of America, and International Time Recording Company.
The most significant merge was with Hollerith's Tabulating Machine Company. Hollerith's Tabulating Machine Company was a company that specialized in tabulating machines. These machines used card punches to make extracting and inputting data more efficient. “In 1881, Herman Hollerith, widely regarded as the father of modern automatic computation, began working on a machine to tabulate census data. With the traditional method the 1880 census had taken eight years to complete” [Anonymous 2].
With the new technology of tabulating the process only took one year. Hollerith’s strengths came from mining the data. At that moment in time there was nothing that could compare to the card reader. The final product, The Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation, was, “Based in New York City, the company had 1,300 employees and offices and plants in Endicott and Binghamton, New York; Dayton, Ohio; Detroit, Michigan; Washington, D.C.; and Toronto, Ontario” [Anonymous].
23 years from 1911, following the 3 way merger, the name of the company was changed to International Business Machine (IBM). June 2012 celebrated 101 years of being incorporated. The person who is accredited for the success of IBM is Thomas Watson Sr. Watson started at IBM in 1914, first as the General Manager and was then elected President the following year [Anonymous].
Watson’s great success can be credited to his great leadership skills. A passage reflects a meeting that Watson has with his executives,” ‘… incidentally, I might add that I am going to demand more of you, because I’ve got to’” [Maney 109]. The passage then goes on to mention that Watson is telling his subordinates that they are not doing well enough even though the company has grown 25 percent that year, as where most head managers would be ecstatic. Watson did not accept “good enough” and because of this his company was able to reach its full potential in a very short amount of time.
Current Challenges and Problems Although a business may not be undergoing any specific problems in order for a business to flourish it must always grow. To grow a business must identify what it lacks and determine the best way possibly to establish itself in the new light. As time goes on and technology advances the needs of the public become more diverse and complicated. A need that has currently caught the eye of the technology industry is cloud computing. In cloud computing a server computer houses applications and files that can be used and accessed by the client computer of choice.
Sometimes a simple username and password are all that is required to access the needed folders or files. An example of cloud computing is the Google Mail. Google Mail can be accessed from any computer as long as you have the appropriate username, password, and web browser.
The data is held in a “cloud” and you can remotely access this data. This can be very useful in current conditions when many people do no stay in the same place or do not continuously use the same device. IBM is currently in the process of making itself known in this line computing, “ [IBM] unveiled the industry's most advanced cloud services and software …
IBM SmartCloud services and capabilities introduce unprecedented choice, security and portability as businesses shift critical activities to the cloud and use it as a platform for business” [Tomasco, 2011]. IBM is in the process of meeting the needs of its clients. By being one of the the best in the industry IBM plans to attract many new clients. These new clients should lead to the continued success of the company.
The IT world sees cloud computing sticking around, “By 2015, 40 percent of the respondents say cloud will bring "substantial change" and 30 percent say cloud will drive the invention of business models and revenue streams” [Tomasco, 2011].
IBM, focusing on the new technology of cloud computing is a very good idea as it will lead to many new avenues of production. Again, companies must keep themselves current and flow with the changing wants and needs of the public. Cloud computing is a challenge that IBM is currently facing.
They are currently doing a fairly decent job, and will most likely continur to thrive in the area. With well-known companies such as “Autotrader, Danone, DBS Bank, Guidewell, McKesson, PETCO, Sears, Staples, Target Corp., True Value, VISA, Whirlpool, Winn-Dixie” investing in IBM’s cloud computing, it is hard to see IBM’s new innovation coming to a standstill. I can only see it becoming bigger and better [Tomasco, 2011]. Conclusion
IBM is a company that has internal and external factors that have attributed to their success. On the internal spectrum, IBM owes a great deal of its success to its employees. A company is only going to be as strong as the people who run it. Starting from the great leadership of Watson to the 433,362 worldwide workers that IBM currently employs, everyone has their unique role in the success of a company the magnitude of IBM. IBM did not believe in the discrimination of potential employees.
From the beginning, IBM wanted the best regardless of their baggage. Also, IMB’s leadership had a great role in the perseverance of the company. By being a leader in the industry they were able to put themselves on a pedestal and hold themselves to a standard of production. By being the most productive company year after year they were able to establish themselves with value. They used this value to continually propel themselves to the next level. Strong corporate planning also had a role in the success of this company. In the production of high marginal products IBM was able to establish the proper return on their products.
Globalizing their products has also had a tremendous impact on their success. By having a foot in multiple areas across the globe, IBM was able to, in turn, minimize their risk. If production were to go south in one part of the world IBM would not be affected to the same extent if it were only established in the poorly producing country. The final internal factor is IBM’s ability to adapt. IBM has the ability to keep up with the times.
They understand what is needed by their customers and it willing to provide this on a consistent basis. A great example of this is the cloud computing innovation. By keeping up with the needs of their clients they were able to invest the appropriate time and money into the project. The outcome has been tremendous and has resulted with having clients from some of the world’s notable businesses.
External factors have also had an influence on the growth of the company. Competition has been a factor that IBM has conquered over the years. There have been many times that IBM acted as a monopoly power over some products such as the cash register. When competition arose with Apple they were hit hard, but able to regroup and come back stronger with new management, launching new products. Technology has always had a bearing on the success of the company. IBM has always been a step ahead in terms of technological advances, always being the first.
Being force into a globalizing world in an external factor that IBM has one hundred percent used in its advantage. With the growing pressure to stretch into different countries IBM has established itself as a world power. They are able to adapt to different surroundings and in turn grow as a company. References
Ananymous. (n.d.). IBM history. Retrieved from http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/history Ananymous 2(January 3, 2012 ). The Era of Mechanical Computing: When Computers were Bigger than a Room. PC Quest, Retrieved from www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/lnacademic Maney, Kevin. (2003). Thomas Watson Sr. and the Making of IBM. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons Inc. Tomasco, S. (2011, October 12).
IBM Unveils New Smart Cloud Services to Give Enterprises Control of the Cloud; New Survey Indicates Businesses See More Opportunity in Cloud. PR Newswire Patrick: ORGANIZATION BACKGROUND (1-2 PAGES) , SETTING THE STAGE (1 PAGE), CURRENT CHALLENGES/PROBLEMS FACING THE ORGANIZATION (1-2 PAGES) , CONCLUSION (1 PAGE) & REFERENCES