Get Summer 2014 Right First Time with tutor2u Exam Coaching & Revision Workshops
There’s lots of press coverage of this corporate milestone, with commentators wondering what conclusions can be drawn from the exceptionally long life of this business giant. In particular, it’s interesting to think which of today’s technology champions will be around in 100 years.
According to The Economist IBM’s secret is that it is built around an idea that rises above any particular product or technology. Its strategy is to package technology for use by businesses. At first this meant making punch-card machines, but IBM moved on to magnetic-tape systems, mainframes, PCs, and most recently services and consulting. Building a company around an idea, rather than a specific technology, makes it easier to adapt when industry “platform shifts” occur. The basic formula is that a company should focus on an idea, rather than a technology.
Three other big IT companies have followed this approach:
- Apple takes the latest technology, packages it in a simple, elegant form and sells it at a premium price. Apple has done this with personal computers, music players, smartphones and tablet computers, and is now moving into cloud-based services. Each time it has grabbed an existing technology and produced an easier-to-use and prettier version than anyone else.
- The animating idea of Amazon is to make it easy for people to buy stuff. It began by doing this for books, but has since applied the same idea to other products: music, groceries, mobile apps, even computing power and storage, which it sells on tap.
- Similarly, the aim of Facebook is to help people share stuff with friends easily. This idea can be extended to almost anything on almost any platform.
The article then points to three other firms who are product based:
- Dell made its name building PCs more efficiently than anyone else and selling them direct to consumers. That model does not neatly transfer to other products.
- Cisco Systems makes internet routers. It has diversified into other areas, such as videoconferencing, but chiefly because it thought this would increase demand for routers.
- Microsoft is hugely dependent on Windows, which is its answer to everything. But software for a PC may not be the best choice to run inside a phone or a car.
All these firms are wedded to specific products, not deeper philosophies, and are having trouble navigating technological shifts.
Also see The secret of Big Blue’s longevity has less to do with machines or software than with strong customer relationships – The Economist and IBM at 100: From typewriters to the cloud - BBC. The second link contains a video clip and it includes this quote, which summarises the market orientation of the business:
“Twenty years ago IBM would create some technology it thought the marketplace needed, and then go and sell it to people. Now we’re customer-led, we’re asked by our clients for what they want from us, and we’re producing solutions rather than specific products to link together the complicated global infrastructure we find around us these days.”
blog comments powered by Disqus
Business Studies Revision / Exam Coaching Workshops Coming Up:
Thursday 24 April 2014 - Birmingham
Friday 25 April 2014 - London (Stratford City)
Monday 20 January 2014 - London (Stratford City)
Tuesday 21 January 2014 - London (Fulham Broadway)
Wednesday 22 January 2014 - Bristol (Cribbs Causeway)
Thursday 23 January 2014 - Birmingham (Star City)
Friday 24 January 2014 - Manchester (Salford Quays)
Tuesday 25 March 2014 - London (Stratford City)
Wednesday 26 March 2014 - London (Fulham Broadway)
Thursday 27 March 2014 - Bristol (Cribbs Causeway)
Friday 28 March 2014 - Birmingham (Star City)
Tuesday 1 April 2014 - Newcastle (Metro Centre)
Wednesday 2 April 2014 - Leeds (The Light)
Thursday 3 April 2014 - Manchester (Salford Quays)
Post-Easter (BUSS1/BUSS2 Combined & BUSS4)
Monday 28 April 2014 - London (Stratford City)
Tuesday 29 April 2014 - London (Fulham Broadway)
Wednesday 30 April 2014 - Bristol (Cribbs Causeway)
Thursday 1 May 2014 - Birmingham (Star City)
Friday 2 May 2014 - Manchester (Salford Quays)
Try some of these superb starter activities for Business Studies:
- Anagram Countdown
- Beat the Teacher
- Budget Basket
- Memory Challenge
- Loop Cards
- I'm the Question
- Catchphrase - Say What You See!
- Consider All Possibilities (C.A.P)
- Teacher Talkabout
- Perfect Recall
- Pass the Buck
- What would you have invented?
- These are a few of my favourite things
- Set Your Students the 15 Word Challenge
- Topic Tennis
- What Why Depends - Developing Thinking Skills
|Business Studies Blog||Economics Blog|
|Geography Blog||Politics Blog|
|Give It A Go! Blog||Sociology Blog|
|PowerPoint Lesson Activities||Teacher Conferences & CPD Courses|
|Exam Coaching & Revision Workshops||Pre-release Case Study Toolkits|
|A Level Economics Teaching Support||Resources for Business Studies|