Document Type

Closed Project

Publication Date

Spring 2004


Dragan Milosevic

Course Title

Strategic Management

Course Number

EMGT 525/625


International Business Machines Corporation -- Management, International Business Machines Corporation -- Strategic planning, International Business Machines Corporation -- Marketing, Engineering -- Management


As a team we did our second case analysis and presentation on IBM circa 1990 based on the case in our text. During our discussions about the analysis, we invariably asked ourselves: what can we know about how IBM proceeded between 1990 and now? What can we know about the business and computer world of today? What can we know about strategic decisions made by IBM between 1990 and the present? As a team we also discovered that we were interested in IBM 2004 as a current business that has a major impact on technology and business.

By choosing IBM 2004 as our case, albeit based primarily on the IBM 2003 Annual Report, we believe we can sharpen our skills of looking at IBM’s current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and then develop a strategy going forward. Such strategy cannot be influenced by what we know to have transpired since the case was written. If we were engaged as consultants today, this is the work product we would be expected to deliver.

We are cognizant that we are starting our analysis based on an Annual Report, which certainly will have a more company friendly bias, rather than a more unbiased case study. We feel other information and opinion available in contemporary media can mitigate this disadvantage, especially since IBM is such a large, well-known company.

As a team we feel challenged to present the following analysis about the future strategy of IBM without the support of and the confusion of knowing something about the path the company chose between the case and the present.


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