Communications of the IIMA


International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is a dominant player in the growing information technology industry. IBM went through a rough patch in the initial part of the ‘90s when sales were declining. In a span of two year, IBM lost a staggering $16 billion. This case investigates the problems that IBM was facing during the time, and the strategic decisions it took to help it transform this position. Through the change of leadership, IBM started giving importance to customer-relationship management to better cater to the need of its clients. It also realized the need to have a strategic vision and reorganized as “One IBM”. Reengineering Global Functions and Processes across different departments improved IBM’s cost structures. The management unified strategic vision served as a platform to reignite growth and industry leadership. The case details this transformation and concludes with lessons learnt that would benefit companies in a similar dilemma in today's competitive IT market.