Global tech talent crunch may last for a decade: IBM chairman

‘Company’s new business make-up helps pursue growth’

Chairman and CEO of 110-year-old global tech major International Business Machines (IBM), Arvind Krishna, on Friday said the tech talent crunch was not just an Indian phenomenon but a global one; and was likely to stay that way for the next decade, at least. Mr. Krishna, who is on a visit to India, was addressing the media.

“Today every company, every country, every government has woken up to that fact that technology is not a cost of doing business but… is a fundamental competitive advantage. That is why there isn’t enough (tech talent) supply,” Mr. Krishna said. He added that this was especially true in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), quantum computing, blockchain technology and cybersecurity, where supply was significantly behind demand and would continue to be so for the next few years.

Under his leadership, IBM has optimised its portfolio, focusing more on high-margin, consulting and software work which constitutes about 70% of its business.

It has spun off non-core, relatively lower-margin business, like managed infrastructure services which is now a new company, Kyndryl. “We have increased our spending on organic R &D. We have also increased our M&A spend. We have acquired 17 companies since last April, across security, multi-cloud and several other areas. Almost half of IBM today is in software. This is a dramatically different business make-up than it has been over the past decades. That will allow us to participate where there is growth in the market,” he added.

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