– Still Emerging
In July, 2002, IBM, the company that "pumped iron" in the sixties, purchased PwC (PricewaterhouseCooper), a consulting company, for $3.5 billion. Once more, despite its 100+ year history and 315,000 employees, the information technology leviathan has managed to update itself without completely departing from its origins as a producer of tabulating and recording equipment. Smaller, established companies can keep up with changes in technology and markets by continuing to behave as emerging companies. "Emerging" means literally "to rise from surrounding fluid," suggesting "to come into view," or "to gradually unfold."
During the past 35 years IBM has turned its focus from mainframe computers, to PCs, to software, and now to services. With a "little help" from Uncle Sam in the late 60's, the company began to sell software and hardware separately ("unbundling"). Eventually, the company began selling semiconductors and other technology to competitors. Now, consulting services account for 41% of the company's revenue. The target is 50%.
What can smaller companies learn from IBM?
Admittedly, few companies have the resources of an IBM. However, all companies can assess their markets, weigh their own strengths and weaknesses, and when necessary, adapt their strategies as technology and markets evolve. Winett Associates can help you obtain an accurate and up-to-date view of your markets, technology, and competition.
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