Coronavirus: IBM Pulls Annual Forecast As Client Priorities Change

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Worldwide pandemic hits software sales, as IBM warns that its customer priorities are changing and it withdraws its annual forecast

IBM has become one of the first tech firms to indicate how the global Coronavirus pandemic is affecting its fortunes.

Big Blue for the first quarter yet another decline in both profits and revenues, and the firm withdrew its 2020 annual forecast as customer priorities change.

The firm is undergoing a period of change, after long-serving CEO, President and chairman Ginni Rometty stepped down in early April. She was replaced by former IBM cloud boss Arvind Krishna who has taken over the CEO role.

Declining financials

And it is proving to be a baptism of fire for Krishna, after IBM posted another set of declining financials.

For the first quarter ending 31 March, IBM posted a net profit of $1.17bn, down from $1.6bn in the same year-ago quarter.

Revenues also declined 3.4 percent to $17.6bn from $18.1bn a year earlier.

“IBM remains focused on helping our clients adapt to the immediate challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, while we continue to enable them to shift their mission-critical workloads to hybrid cloud and expand their use of AI to help transform their operations,” said Arvind Krishna.

“Our first-quarter performance in cloud is a reflection of the trust clients place in IBM’s technology and expertise today, and positions us to continue building an enduring hybrid cloud platform for the future,” he added.

But Krishna admitted that the pandemic is hitting software sales, as the shift to remote working is accelerating the move towards cloud services, which Big Blue also offers, Reuters reported.

IBM has also hired former Bank of America CTO Howard Boville to oversea the delivery of its hybrid cloud offering to customers.

Big Blue has also withdrawn its annual forecast, amid the global uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

Shares fell about 3.3 percent in after-market trading, Reuters reported.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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