International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Armonk, New York, with operations in over 170 countries. The company began in 1911, founded in Endicott, New York, as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (CTR) and was renamed “International Business Machines” in 1924. IBM is incorporated in New York
IBM produces and sells computer hardware, middleware and software, and provides hosting and consulting services in areas ranging from mainframe computers to nanotechnology. IBM is also a major research organization, holding the record for most U.S. patents generated by a business (as of 2020) for 27 consecutive years. Inventions by IBM include the automated teller machine (ATM), the floppy disk, the hard disk drive, the magnetic stripe card, the relational database, the SQL programming language, the UPC barcode, and dynamic random-access memory (DRAM). The IBM mainframe, exemplified by the System/360, was the dominant computing platform during the 1960s and 1970s.

IBM has continually shifted business operations by focusing on higher-value, more profitable markets. This includes spinning off printer manufacturer Lexmark in 1991 and the sale of personal computer (ThinkPad/ThinkCentre) and x86-based server businesses to Lenovo (in 2005 and 2014, respectively), and acquiring companies such as PwC Consulting (2002), SPSS (2009), The Weather Company (2016), and Red Hat (2019). Also in 2015, IBM announced that it would go “fabless”, continuing to design semiconductors, but offloading manufacturing to GlobalFoundries.

Nicknamed Big Blue, IBM is one of 30 companies included in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and one of the world’s largest employers, with (as of 2018) over 352,600 employees, known as “IBMers”. At least 70% of IBMers are based outside the United States, and the country with the largest number of IBMers is India. IBM employees have been awarded five Nobel Prizes, six Turing Awards, ten National Medals of Technology (USA) and five National Medals of Science (USA).

IBM´s Products and Services:

IBM has a large and diverse portfolio of products and services. As of 2016, these offerings fall into the categories of cloud computing, Artificial intelligence, commerce, data and analytics, Internet of Things (IoT),IT infrastructure, mobile, Digital workplace and security.

IBM Cloud includes infrastructure as a service (IaaS), software as a service (SaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) offered through public, private and hybrid cloud delivery models. For instance, the IBM Bluemix PaaS enables developers to quickly create complex websites on a pay-as-you-go model. IBM SoftLayer is a dedicated server, managed hosting and cloud computing provider, which in 2011 reported hosting more than 81,000 servers for more than 26,000 customers.IBM also provides Cloud Data Encryption Services (ICDES), using cryptographic splitting to secure customer data.
IBM also hosts the industry-wide cloud computing and mobile technologies conference InterConnect each year.

Hardware designed by IBM for these categories include IBM’s POWER microprocessors, which are employed inside many console gaming systems, including Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo’s Wii U. IBM Secure Blue is encryption hardware that can be built into microprocessors, and in 2014, the company revealed TrueNorth, a neuromorphic CMOS integrated circuit and announced a $3 billion investment over the following five years to design a neural chip that mimics the human brain, with 10 billion neurons and 100 trillion synapses, but that uses just 1 kilowatt of power. In 2016, the company launched all-flash arrays designed for small and midsized companies, which includes software for data compression, provisioning, and snapshots across various systems.

IT outsourcing also represents a major service provided by IBM, with more than 60 data centers worldwide.alphaWorks is IBM’s source for emerging software technologies, and SPSS is a software package used for statistical analysis. IBM’s Kenexa suite provides employment and retention solutions, and includes the BrassRing, an applicant tracking system used by thousands of companies for recruiting. IBM also owns The Weather Company, which provides weather forecasting and includes and Weather Underground.

Smarter Planet is an initiative that seeks to achieve economic growth, near-term efficiency, sustainable development, and societal progress, targeting opportunities such as smart grids, water management systems, solutions to traffic congestion, and greener buildings.

Services provisions include Redbooks, which are publicly available online books about best practices with IBM products, and developerWorks, a website for software developers and IT professionals with how-to articles and tutorials, as well as software downloads, code samples, discussion forums, podcasts, blogs, wikis, and other resources for developers and technical professionals.

IBM Watson is a technology platform that uses natural language processing and machine learning to reveal insights from large amounts of unstructured data. Watson was debuted in 2011 on the American game-show Jeopardy!, where it competed against champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter in a three-game tournament and won. Watson has since been applied to business, healthcare, developers, and universities. For example, IBM has partnered with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to assist with considering treatment options for oncology patients and for doing melanoma screenings. Also, several companies have begun using Watson for call centers, either replacing or assisting customer service agents

In January 2019, IBM introduced its first commercial quantum computer IBM Q System One.

IBM also provides infrastructure for the New York City Police Department through their IBM Cognos Analytics to perform data visualizations of CompStat crime data.

In March 2020 it was announced that IBM will build the first quantum computer in Germany. The computer should allow researchers to harness the technology without falling foul of the EU’s increasingly assertive stance on data sovereignty.