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David McIntire

David is an IT Services Research Director at NelsonHall, with shared responsibility for IT Services research globally with Dominique Raviart, John Laherty, and Mike Smart.

IBM - Digital Transformation Services

Vendor Analysis

by David McIntire

published on Apr 12, 2017

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Report Overview:

This NelsonHall vendor assessment analyzes IBM's offerings and capabilities in Digital Transformation Services.

Who is this Report for:

NelsonHall’s Digital Transformation Services Vendor Assessment for IBM is a comprehensive assessment of IBM’s digital transformation services offerings and capabilities designed for:

  • Sourcing managers monitoring the capabilities of existing suppliers of IT services and identifying vendor suitability for digital transformation services 
  • Vendor marketing, sales and business managers looking to benchmark themselves against their peers 
  • Financial analysts and investors specializing in the digital transformation sector. 

Scope of this Report:

The report provides a comprehensive and objective analysis of IBM’s digital transformation service offerings, capabilities and market and financial strength, including: 

  • Analysis of the company’s offerings and key service components
  • Revenue estimates
  • Identification of the company’s strategy, emphasis and new  developments
  • Analysis of the profile of the company’s customer base including the  company’s targeting strategy and examples of current contracts
  • Analysis of the company’s strengths, weaknesses and outlook.


Key Findings & Highlights:

IBM is currently focusing on a sub-set of services, its Strategic Imperatives, focused on cloud, cognitive computing, analytics, security, mobile and social.  

In 2015 and 2016, IBM completed several acquisitions to expand these digital consulting capabilities, including: 

  • Bluewolf: a Salesforce implementation consultancy with 12 global offices and ~500 FTEs 
  • Aperto: a digital agency with headquarters in Berlin, Germany with ~300 FTEs  
  • a Dusseldorf, Germany based digital agency with ~200 FTEs
  • Resource/Ammirati: a U.S. digital marketing and creative agency with  ~300 FTEs in Columbus, Chicago, and New York. 

IBM’s overall strategic focus is on the growth and expansion of its strategic  imperative solutions that span cloud, cognitive, analytics, social, mobile and security. These capabilities are specifically targeted at enabling digital transformation and are delivered by consulting resources from GBS, iX, and Global Technology Services (GTS). IBM has developed several platforms to support the development of solutions targeted at addressing digital transformation priorities. 

IBM reported that it had ~378k employees as of December 2015. NelsonHall estimates that GBS Consulting has ~100k employees, with ~30k focused on digital transformation.  

The IBM iX was launched in 2014, with ~1k FTEs. With the subsequent acquisitions and organic growth, NelsonHall estimates that IBM iX now has ~5k FTEs.  

The strategic imperatives form the core of IBM’s digital transformation approach, primarily through the migration to cloud environments and the incorporation of Watson cognitive capabilities. IBM is also focused on growing its enterprise application implementation capabilities, particularly around SAP HANA, Oracle, and Microsoft solutions.  

Table of contents:

Table of contents:

  • Introduction and Strategy
  • Offerings
  • Strategic Imperatives
  • Enterprise Applications
  • SAP
  • Oracle
  • Microsoft
  • Delivery Network
  • Delivery Resources
  • Delivery Locations
  • Key Clients
  • Strengths and Challenges
  • Strengths
  • Challenges

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