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IBM Layoffs 2018: 10,000 Staff Cuts in Global Technology Services (GTS)?


IBM plans to cut roughly 10,000 Global Technology Services (GTS) jobs as part of a plan to redeploy about 30 percent of the group's 100,000 employees, according to The Register. An IBM spokesman declined comment about the report, according to Reuters.

If accurate, the report highlights ongoing stress in the IT services market -- where IT consulting giants are rebalancing or outright reducing headcount amid massive shifts toward IT automation and cloud services.

IBM had several rounds of layoffs in 2017, though the company never officially confirmed actual staff cut figures. The company has repeatedly leaned on "rebalancing" statements -- claiming that it was trimming talent in legacy groups while ramping up talent in such areas as cognitive computing, cloud services, mobile and security services.

IBM's overall revenues declined 22 consecutive quarters before the "rebalancing" and growth efforts in November 2017 effectively offset revenue declines across hardware, software and IT services.

Hardware, Software Industry "Rebalancing" Acts

Much like IBM, most of India's major IT services organizations are facing similar challenges, while global systems integrators like Accenture are buying up growth-oriented consulting teams focused on cloud workloads like AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, Salesforce, ServiceNow and WorkDay, among others.

IBM's hardware peers also have evolved -- with companies like Cisco, HP Enterprise and Dell EMC trimming their workforces at various times over the past two years (see technology industry layoff timeline).

So what's next for IBM? The answers will likely surface at IBM Think 2018, a new conference in March that rolls together former conferences like World of Watson, Amplify and edge. ChannelE2E believes IBM PartnerWorld has also been rolled into that show.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.