What is Happening?
IBM, GE and Microsoft: Three very established firms with very traditional business models, customer bases, and revenue streams. All three have faced weighty, accumulative challenges to their core markets, original business models, and value propositions, resulting in substantial share price devaluation and negative effects on revenue and profitability, as well as unrest among partners and customers, leading to many defections and strained relationships.
But if there are to be “poster children” for the rethinking and re-invention of 20th-century business for the 21st century of boundary-free Digital Business, these would be great candidates.
GE has brought us the “industrial internet,” one of the most lucid visions of the IoT, translating the value and opportunity of Digital Business into some of the most traditional marketplaces, including industrial manufacturing, machining, and supply chain management.
IBM this week announced their massive “Cognitive Business” positioning, leveraging existing consulting, Cloud, software, and hardware portfolios with the Watson cognitive computing/analytical engine(s), ironically to help enterprise customers understand how to alter their own businesses in the face of changing markets.
And Microsoft has reinvented its core Windows strategy (and offerings) while shifting to Cloud-based delivery and revenue streams for its critical desktop business apps – and expanding a nascent computing / communications hardware presence (including signing up traditional PC partners Dell and HP as sales outlets) to help expand both of these.
What Saugatuck sees in all three of these cases is massive, long-established, and very threatened 20th-century technology firms and industrial conglomerates are rethinking and re-inventing themselves in a remarkable manner, and in a remarkably short amount of time. Whether or not they will be successful is still an open question. Continue reading IBM, MSFT, GE – Reinventing for Digital Business Realities