Underscoring the drive into high-margin businesses, IBM in October agreed to buy Red Hat, the company’s biggest acquisition in its more than 100-year history.
Ginni Rometty, IBM chief executive since 2012, has steered the company toward faster-growing segments such as cloud, software and services and away from traditional hardware products, but not without a bumpy journey. The newer areas of focus have sometimes underwhelmed investors.
In an interview, Rometty said the deal was driven by what its customers wanted and helping companies “move mission-critical work” to the cloud, offering a variety of hybrid public and private clouds. “We have all the critical parts,” she said.
Customers want hybrid cloud applications because they “look at their IT and they say, ‘Look I can’t just throw it all out and rebuild it’” and instead want a mix of public and private cloud applications “with one platform across it.”