IBM Software Revenue Decline Will Continue — Cash Cow CICS Has Croaked.

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by Anura Guruge


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Today’s chart from “MarketWatch.com”.

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cics47ssadIBM’s software revenues will continue to spiral downwards because 47-year old CICS no longer rules the roost!

Yes, CICS, whose roots go back to 1966 has been IBM’s cash cow when it comes to software. CICS was IBM’s proprietary Transaction Manager — and most things to do with IT is basically a transaction.

Today, in the Internet/Linux/OpenSource world people no longer want PROPRIETARY Transaction Managers. So CICS sales are down and that more than anything else hurts IBM’s software sales numbers.

I, as somebody who made a good living as an independent IBM analyst for 30 years, have said it before and will say it again now. IBM’s tremendous successes from the 1960s till around 2008 was ALL due to the stranglehold it had managed to acquire with its PROPRIETARY hardware (i.e., mainframes, S/3x, PowerPC), networking (SNA (and I was “Mr. SNA”)) and software solutions. Now proprietary systems are anathema.

In yesterday’s results IBM said that its new mainframes are doing well. Its new mainframes are OPTIMIZED to run Linux! Yes, IBM is positioning its mainframes (and it has done so for a about a decade now) has the most scalable and reliable, clustered Linux servers EVER. And that is true. But selling mainframes as Linux servers does NOT help IBM’s software revenues.

In terms of software the 3 key products that contributed to the lion’s share of revenue and margins were: CICS, DB2 and z/OS (and its predecessors). All 3 of these are now legacy-legacy. Dying if not already dead. That is the problem. I wish I had the time to explain this more. I used to do that for a business.

IF you are a MAJOR IBM investor and want to know the real scoop contact me. I still know and understand IBM better than most of those you will see and hear on CNBC. SMILE. Yes, I am ex-IBM too. 


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