Billions of dollars, millions of man-hours, and thousands of projects at IBM are all focused on the same thing: turning scads of enterprise data into useful information.
IBM has been aggressively building an arsenal of technologies for helping companies get more value out of the data they collect. Just how aggressively? Big Blue spent more than $14 billion to acquire 24 analytics companies over the past five years. Internally, 200 IBM mathematicians focus exclusively on analytics (securing nearly 500 analytics patents for IBM in the process). Out in the field, 8,000 business consultants staff IBM's business analytics and optimization services line, helping clients tackle data-related challenges.
A big payoff is expected from those investments. IBM's business analytics revenue grew 14 percent year-over-year in the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2010 (compared to 3 percent companywide revenue growth). Looking ahead, IBM is projecting $16 billion in business analytics and optimization revenue by 2015.