Arvind Krishna is not The only CEO who started a new job this week, but he's the only one responsible for getting one of the world's best-known companies back on track. In addition to the level of difficulty, he took on the role in the midst of a global pandemic and economic crisis. No pressure or anything.
IBM has struggled to find its identity in recent years as technology has evolved rapidly. While Krishna's predecessor Ginni Rometty left a complex legacy as she worked to bring IBM into the modern age, she presided over a dreadful series of 22 quarters of declining revenue, a record that Krishna certainly wants to avoid.
In her honor, the company under Rometty endeavored to adapt to more modern customer requirements such as cloud, artificial intelligence, blockchain and security. Although the results were not always there, Krishna confirmed in an email that employees had received on his first day that she had left something to build on.
“IBM has already developed permanent platforms for mainframe, services and middleware. All three continue to serve our customers. I think now is the time to build a fourth platform in the hybrid cloud. An indispensable, ubiquitous hybrid cloud platform that our customers will rely on to do their most critical work in this century. A platform that can last longer than the others, ”he wrote.
However, Ray Wang, founder and principal analyst at Constellation Research, says the market headwind the company is facing is real and that strong leadership is needed to get customers to choose IBM over its primary cloud infrastructure competitors .
“His biggest challenge is to restore customer confidence that IBM has the latest technology and solutions and is investing enough in innovations that customers want to see. He has to show that IBM has the same level of innovation and technical talent as the hyper-scalers Google, Microsoft and Amazon, ”said Wang.