Rometty is on a three-day visit to India and has met senior leaders in the government as well as from the industry.
IBM CEO has expressed optimism for India citing strong GDP growth, expanding base of startups and growing trend of new technologies like cloud in the country. "I say this century, the 21st century is Indian century... I am very optimistic about the tomorrow ahead and this is a fact-based optimism," she said at an event on Tuesday.
A lot of women simply give up on traveling until their baby is weaned.
IBM's aiming to make all of this a little easier. On Monday, the tech giant announced that it will ship working moms' breast milk back home when they're on business trips. It will be interesting to see if other employers follow IBM's lead.
But just how strong is the link between patent activity and innovation in an era of exponential technological progress?
Just comparing the absolute number of patents on a company-by-company basis is misleading, to say the least. For example, consider the number of patents that companies have received thus far in 2015. According to this metric, IBM and Samsung are far and away the most innovative companies in the world, with 3,059 and 3,052 patents, respectively. Google ranks number five, with 1,083 patents, just ahead of Microsoft (No. 7), with 1,037. Apple, typically considered one of the most innovative companies in the world, comes in at only No. 11, with 780 patents. Facebook doesn’t even crack the top 40. ...
However, just because you have a lot of highly cited patents (and not just a bunch of junky, frivolous patents) doesn’t immediately mean that you can create valuable products from those patents. If you think about innovation as a process from first invention to final product, then patents only measure the front-end of that process — the actual invention — rather than the back-end of innovation: the launch of the commercialized product. If your research and development system is broken, you may be front-loading the system with a lot of patents, without very much to show for it.
Advice to Management: If I was brought in as an external consultant to review IBM, here is what my recommendations to Ginni and team would say:
Pros: Flexible employer, large organisation with lots of different roles, good location (Hursley), worked with some very talented folk, clubhouse, opportunity to get a good brand on your CV (just don't spend too long there).
Cons: Focus in recent times has been on cost cutting, doing more with less. Flexibility is great but only if it works both ways. (Nowadays it is more about what you as an employee are willing to give up). Education budgets slashed. Professional development is down to you as an individual with limited support from the organisation. High focus on differentiating contributions of employees which demotivates the majority of the staff. Bonuses are a rarity and not worth writing home about. Salaries are below market rate (need to negotiate well on entry as raises are small and few and far between). Pizza evenings are used as a means for cheap labour out of hours to get more work done and meet insane deadlines, and deliver rubbish quality (as a result of cost cutting).
Advice to Management: Ditch the PBC system. Motivate employees by enabling all of them to feel a part of the success of the organisation and not just the top ones. Respect employees' work life balance. Offer competitive salaries.
Pros: Flexible work schedule including work from home as needed/desired.
Cons: Management at all levels renege on their promises, from earned retirement pensions and medical benefits to earned comp time. For example, at 2nd line management direct request I put in over 400 hours of unpaid overtime over a 3-month period to help get a hot project out and when I went to use the banked time after project completion, per prior management agreement, management denied it and allowed me to have NOTHING. Working 60+ hours per week, my raises average 1.1% for the last 4 years. Insufficient return on investment for this job.
Advice to Management: Keep your critical employees happy or you'll find no one with sufficient skill left to keep the company afloat. A happy employee makes for a productive employee. An unhappy employee makes for poor quality of service. Two of IBM's official policies are: 1) hiar only the best employees, 2) pay average of the job market. Does this make sense? Why would the best employees want to work for average wages?
Pros: Tremendous opportunity to learn about everything from technology to how industries work in great detail; especially for marketeers, an inside view of the finest marketing machine in the world and how one company can create a market for something by articulating a new problem or a problem differently.
Cons: Virtual employment is hard for millennials. You have to work to stay in touch with your co-workers. Loyalty only works one way...there are regular 'redistributions' of the workforce. And many are packaged out at one time. Get used to it. If you start your career at IBM, you have tremendous value elsewhere over time. IBM's salesmanship at field level has taken a big hit over the last decade—the management keeps things far more tactical and short-term than strategic. This has undermined customer account continuity and customer satisfaction. The finest sales school in the biz is no longer.
Advice to Management: Develop a policy towards employee development that is not self service and goes above first line management (even if it is, truthfully, hard to hear.) Fix the disconnect between the 1-3-9 at the executive level and the field and insure that there is alignment between the way IBM treats customers and the way it treats IBMers. Remove or retrain first line and second line in people management skills.
Pros: Groot internationaal bedrijf met veel doorgroei mogelijkheden, verticaal en horizontaal. Echte technologische kennis firma met veel aandacht voor voortdurende innovatie. Combinatie van SW HW en services in 1 firma. Translation, courtesy of Google Translate: Large international company with great growth potential, vertically and horizontally. Real technological knowledge company with great attention to continuous innovation. Combination of SW and HW services in one company.
Cons: Gemiddeld huidig salaris -in tegenstelling tot 10-15 jaar geleden- is aan de lage kant. Kostenbesparingen en excel spread sheets staan hoog op de agenda. Korte termijn wint het te veel van lange termijn; kwantiteit vs kwaliteit. Translation: Average current salary in contrast to 10-15 years ago, on the low side. Cost savings and Excel spreadsheets are high on the agenda. Short-term wins a lot of long term; quantity vs. quality.
Advice to Management: Maak zsm een einde aan het overschot aan onnodige procedures en processen. Zorg er voor dat nieuw instromend talent bij IBM blijft; niet alleen een opleiding komt volgen en dan snel weer vertrekt. Salaris speelt hierbij een belangrijke rol. Translation: ASAP, end unnecessary procedures and processes. Make sure that new talent inflow remains at IBM; not only will attend training and then leave quickly. Salary plays an important role.
Pros: Good benefits. Outstanding professionals in the company. It used to be an outstanding company that valued their employees.
Cons: Managers are looking out for themselves and not employees. Product strategy changes? You may be out of a job. They may give you a low rating (first one in your long career) to force you out. Same review cycle, I received positive feedback from VP. Manager bullied employees so they would leave. Blocked from going to HR to report behavior. Manager made decision on which projects each employee received. High billable projects taken away and replaced with low billing/no billable projects, which hurt billable expectations in performance review. Suggestions to improve outcomes were ignored. An "emperor without clothes" syndrome. High turnover in dept. as a result and by design.
Advice to Management: Get rid of managers who bully their highly skilled employees. Open the "Open Door" policy again. Keep an eye on your managers. There is a reason for high turnover. Don't move managers to areas they are unqualified to manage. You have lost a number of outstanding contributors along the way.
Pros: Flexibility in hours. Ability to work-from-home. Average to a bit above-average salary RRSP match.
Advice to Management: Wouldn't waste my time with advice; middle managers have no power (directors and below) and senior management (VPs and above) ignores the market and employees; only listen to each other.
Pros: Flexible work from home schedule. If you are a lead designer, your decisions may make it into the design. Good luck convincing the Cupertino team. Possibility to fly out to Cupertino a few times a year for "design workshops" where you spend a few days with IBM's Cupertino team sketching and chatting about a new qualified app concept.
Cons: Very slow pace; I've been there almost a year and have only worked on 3 projects. They were drawn out for 6-10 weeks, but the bulk of the work was done in the first week or two. All the other work was busy work tweaking tiny things or changing things based on the whim of a few people. Incredible structure and culture of micro-management; the structure of this team has made it to where 2-3 people who have little to no involvement in the day-to-day of each project drive all decision-making and are able to override anything and everything with no reason whatsoever.
No, you will not work directly with Apple; you will work with these three who are stationed in Cupertino a few miles from the Apple campus. Complete focus strictly on UI, no focus on experience, content strategy, information architecture, prototyping, testing, research, or anything similar.
Most of the apps look very nice, but have an incredibly convoluted flow and serve little to no purpose for true users of the apps, because we do no research, focus solely on UI design, and if someone wants to change the flow or add features that would help users, they are shot down.
The word "simple" is thrown around arbitrarily to mean "show less screens", but when the whole app is only 3 screens for an enterprise level solution, most of the features a real-life client would want are missing.
Because so little work comes in, you will find yourself idle for months at a time. Even people that have been at IBM for a long time say this is very strange and more work should be coming, but it rarely does. The work that does come in is quite boring as most of the decisions are made up-front by small teams and once those decisions are made, there's no changing them.
We've also fallen into a routine of making cookie-cutter apps. Almost all of the apps look and feel the exact same and there's little to no room for anything new or innovative. Very disappointing.
You will be designing what they call "starter apps". This isn't an MVP, this is about the equivalent to 1/5 of an MVP, which is essentially a 10-15 screen Keynote presentation (yes, the only design tool you can use is Keynote) and we call that an app that we try to go sell.
Most of the apps are unsellable because they lack so many features, and there's a big, visible struggle between what we call "simple" and what's "sellable". The vast majority of the apps we create are the same app recreated over and over again. Not to mention, most of the ideas we have for apps are things that already exist on the app store and have a large number of downloads or sales. This makes us fall into a pattern of recreating the wheel and templatizing everything to where all the designer's job is is to copy and paste from an old Keynote.
This role has a very production line feel to it, so avoid unless you're a relatively junior designer looking to get experience or you just feel like having IBM and Apple on your resume.
Advice to Management: Allow people with talent to drive decision making and don't rely solely on the Cupertino team. UX is not just about how the app looks; it's about how it feels and functions. Place the focus on the user and the functionality first, and quit trying to force "simple" to mean "less screens". What we're producing is far from "simple" and most of the apps are bordering on worthless because of how little functionality they have. Allow flexibility for new idea for apps and new ideas inside each app.
Pros: I cannot think of any pros for this company other than be associated with the IBM name.
Advice to Management: Don't lie to your employees. If you say you are going to give a certain salary and certain benefits in the contract then actually give those benefits instead of making up excuses for not providing these benefits that were promised. IBM name may be prestigious but its values, culture, and ethics are the worst.
Pros: There were little to no pros when working for IBM Design. The biggest pro was that I got to work from home, and that got very old very fast.
Advice to Management: Get off your high horse and start listening to how unhappy your employees are. Start hiring developers that are under 50 and want to use design thinking to better the products that they are creating.
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