By Denis Kaminskiy, founder and director at Arcus Global
By now, we have all seen the news that the tech giant IBM is splitting itself into two public companies, in a bid to shift its focus towards the high margin businesses of cloud and artificial intelligence. In my view, the writing has been on the wall for a decade that a tectonic shift in the relationship between business and technology is coming. This split represents part of that shift.
Since around 2011, innovators large and small have come to dominate the sphere. Some giants like Microsoft have seen this and have managed to change. Others, like Google, Amazon and Salesforce were born in the ‘new world’ (almost), and have in many ways created it.
As a cloud native SaaS company, Arcus Global has always battled the legacy opinion that this kind of change is slow, or scary, or disruptive. In reality, ‘cloud’, ‘automation’, and ‘SaaS’ are all words that describe new or improved / updated services that have been created to respond to real customer demand, which in itself is driven by higher consumer expectations, higher quality of services and tougher global competition or declining budgets. Sometimes the changes have been only to the commercial models or pricing.
Of course, anything that can be done to help businesses and governments to respond to that is a good thing. Many legacy providers are doing their best to slow this trend down, and it is good to see a company like IBM finally recognise that swimming against the tide in order to maximise its own profits in the short term is futile. For the benefit of its customers, and certainly its shareholders, it must change wholesale.
I wish the public sector IT industry would recognise this too, but alas, we still have the vast majority of companies pretending that these new technologies are just a fad (or just a new commercial model). Or, they are seeding fear about it amongst customers in order to protect their legacy software and services and extend the ‘good old times’ for at least one more year.
We still have far too many cases of organisations paying only lip service to real transformation, trying to persuade the customer that ‘buying this thing’ will transform them. While this may be cheaper or less scary for customers and sales teams in the very short term, it damages their business, and puts them even further behind the curve. It is good that IBM has not accepted that and wants to change.
About Arcus Global
Arcus Global, formed in 2009 and based in Cambridge UK, is a market leading GovTech cloud company, delivering mission critical technology solutions that enable local authorities and other public sector organisations to transform their service delivery to citizens.
The Software as a Service division of Arcus has developed a platform based suite of Applications for Local Government. Addressing the challenge of legacy technology in Citizen Digital interaction, Planning, Building Control, Licensing, Environmental Health. Arcus has grown to over 30 customers including Folkestone & Hythe District Council, Eastleigh Borough Council and the London Borough of Southwark.
The Cloud Infrastructure Division of Arcus provides Consultancy, Managed Services and Cloud Storage to a large number of Public Sector bodies across Central Government, Local Government, the NHS and the Education sector.
Charlotte Fionda, Marketing Manager at Arcus Global