After years of languishing as an IT services company, IBM has shifted its focus to cloud computing in recent years, making some key acquisitions to fortify its position near the top of the industry. The century-old corporation is following in the footsteps of Microsoft, which underwent a similar transformation in the last decade under the supervision of CEO Satya Nadella. For IBM, its rival has created a blueprint that the older company might be able to emulate to cement its place in the cloud computing market.
In 2020, IBM elevated its cloud and cognitive software head, Arvind Krishna, to the CEO position—a move that mirrors Microsoft’s promotion of cloud leader Nadella in 2014. To distinguish itself from its rivals, including Amazon Web Services and Alphabet’s Google Cloud, the company emphasized hybrid cloud systems. But if it wants to catch up to Microsoft, it would need to accelerate its growth exponentially; the Seattle-based tech giant boasts a market cap of nearly $2 trillion, roughly 16 times that of IBM’s $120 billion.