Computer giant IBM has almost completely reduced the team specializing in blockchain technology, writes CoinDesk , citing sources familiar with the situation. According to them, the decision is due to the failure to fulfill the income plan by 90%.
“IBM is undergoing a major reorganization,” said a source at the startup who interviewed former employees of the company’s blockchain division. – The blockchain team will actually no longer exist. Most of the blockchain specialists have left IBM. “
Another source said the blockchain division was performing well below expectations for two years. The expectations were too high, he said, and IBM “was unable to meet them despite many announcements.”
The company itself refutes this information. “Our business is doing well in the blockchain space, thank you. We’ve moved some executives and divisions to support growth — we do that every year, ”said Director of Public Relations Holly Haswell.
A former IBM employee who worked in enterprise blockchain solutions, however, argues that the company has undertaken “resource actions” where reductions are based on the performance of the division, rather than its individual members. “I think less than 10% remains to work in the IBM Blockchain. Many reorganizations have been carried out. IBM is 100% focused on the hybrid cloud, so anything that does not support this goal has been removed from the priorities, ”he explained.
IBM has invested large sums in blockchain since 2016, when it first spoke of the technology’s potential for business transformation. One source noted that if all of IBM’s activities in this space are limited to research and not even include consulting, it casts a shadow on the application of technology in enterprise scenarios in general. Specifically, CoinDesk points to the Hyperledger blockchain toolkit, of which IBM was one of the key developers. In addition, the company was interested in solutions based on Ethereum.
In a report for the last year, IBM reported a 6% decline in total revenue. In 2017, the company called itself a “blockchain leader for business”, and now it does not mention the technology at all in official documents.
The company has launched several Hyperledger Fabric-based blockchain initiatives in recent years, including with supermarket chain Walmart and logistics giant Maersk. The shift in priorities may be attributed to the business turmoil associated with the coronavirus pandemic, when anything that does not immediately generate income has receded into the background.
Another source claims that IBM has cut over 100 blockchain-related positions over the past year. For example, the head of the blockchain division of IBM and a big supporter of the technology, Jerry Cuomo, is now engaged in artificial intelligence. Haswell added, “Jerry is indeed in charge of the complementary strategies, the fast-growing parts of the IBM business, but he is still involved in blockchain. This is a very high level technical leader. We are expanding the roles of people at IBM. “