Andrew Stevens was recently announced as the new IBM ANZ Managing Director. He replaces Glen Boreham who is leaving IBM. Stevens was previously head of GBS, the IBM consulting arm for IBM’s Growth Markets Business Unit (growth markets are Asia Pacific, excluding Japan, MEA, Latin America and Eastern Europe).
As a side note it is interesting to see the post IBM careers of IBM ANZ MD’s. Clearly David Thodey is the star graduate at the moment. It is quite clear however that there is no long term internal IBM career after running ANZ. From Thodey to Phil Bullock and beyond, the best chance for a successful future career is clearly outside IBM. Boreham has no doubt reflected upon this.
Back to the IBM that Andrew Stevens is inheriting. Clearly the business overall is in relatively good shape. Financial services and outsourcing or GTS in IBM terms was clearly boosted by end of year signings with NAB and Westpac. However, capioIT has identified some key challenges. These are highlighted below.
Public Sector – Canberra is presenting IBM with some significant problems and no doubt Stevens is aware of the challenges that IBM still faces with the Queensland government. The Public Sector needs significant time and investment of quality resources for IBM. Lockheed Martin amongst others are increasing their investments in the vertical. Mega deals are drying up in the private sector, so action from IBM will need to be swift and effective. It is sometimes hard for IBM to do both.
Depth of Teams – The problems of getting the “B” team of IBM is well documented. Through partners, global delivery and other means, the consistency of performance of IBM teams needs to improve so that the “A” team can come to town. IBM is all about delivery.
Reducing Silos in IBM – IBM is heavily siloed from GTS to GBS and of course the other groups. It has been very difficult to break, but if IBM wants to gain incremental growth and deliver on initiatives around cloud it must break the internal barriers down. Work has been done to date, but more is needed.
Business Leadership in Australia – IBM and HP locally have not had recent leaders who have contributed enough profile to our industry with politicians, the broader business community and society in general. The improvement of IT in terms of education, public policy and society needs to grow. Leadership from the largest firms in IT (despite their American corporate address) is important and more needs to happen.
There are of course more challenges for IBM, and for Andrew Stevens, but it is relatively well positioned strategically and operationally to continue growth in ANZ if it is able to implement the strategy. It will be interesting to revisit once things have settled down for the new IBM regime.