Big Blue, a nickname for IBM, continues to dominate ? alright, keep a step ahead of – the competition as top server vendor worldwide. IBM finished 3Q 2009 with a revenue share of 31.7% of the server market. IBM?s closest competitor is nipping at IBM?s heels with 30.2% revenue share. Responsible for IBM?s continued success is the gain of x86 and UNIX based systems revenue share growth. 
Straight from the Gartner report [Gartner, Inc, "Servers Quarterly Statistics Worldwide: Database," by Errol Rasit et al, November 25, 2009]:

  • IBM continued its momentum in x86 servers, with System x gaining 2.2 points of revenue share in 3Q 2009 compared to the third quarter of 2008, the third consecutive quarter of sustained revenue share growth.
  • IBM gained 4.9 percent of x86 blade revenue share compared to 3Q08.
  • In the UNIX segment, IBM added 4.5 percent of revenue share compared to 3Q08 and retained its lead for the fifth consecutive quarter with 40.9 percent. This was 11.6 percent higher than the second-place vendor in 3Q09. 
  • As it has since 2002, IBM held the No. 1 position for servers priced above $250,000, with 56.4 percent revenue share in 3Q09.

IBM has also acquired Guardium, a market leader in real-time enterprise database monitoring and protection. Not all acquisitions pan out, however, IBM?s business strategy seems plain enough here: Protect customer?s data. IBM has determined threat levels to be on the rise and in light of the recent T-Mobile Sidekick data loss debacle which took Microsoft to help extricate T-Mobile from the mess, this move should not come as a surprise to anyone familiar with IBM?s business strategy. From the PR release: "This acquisition extends IBM’s business analytics strategy, including the range of offerings available through IBM’s recently-announced Business Analytics and Optimization Consulting organization with 4,000 consultants, a network of analytics solution centers, and an overall investment of more than $12 billion in organic growth and acquisitions."

Extremely interesting is that "According to the recent IBM Global CIO Study, one in three business leaders frequently make decisions based on information they do not trust or do not have. With renewed focus on transparency and accountability, businesses and government agencies cannot afford to make decisions based on data that has been compromised. To succeed, organizations need to maintain a vigilant real-time watch on database access to protect enterprise data and comply with regulatory requirements such as HIPAA and the European Data Protection Directive [PDF link], the U.S. federal government’s NIST 800-53 standard and industry mandates such as the PCI-DSS."  

You would think that these precautions would be either be plain common sense or taught in business school. I guess not: "One in three business leaders frequently make decisions based on a lack of data or possibly even worse faulty data?" Such negligence may be argued as borderline criminal when you take into account lost jobs and savings. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton in 1992 popularized the slogan, "It?s the economy, stupid," while campaigning against incumbent President George H. W. Bush. Now it may be said of the economy, "It?s the executives, stupid." To be fair, it?s not completely the executives fault ? we gave them our money. As the recovery gets underway, it is hoped that both law-making bodies and corporations will become wiser and base their important decisions on sound data, preferably facts. Note to executives, I prefer black ink in the form of capital gains on my portfolio?s balance sheet, thank you.

The market is currently reacting positively to the news with IBM stock trading for $126.35 a share at market close on November 30, 2009. The year trend for IBM stock has been positive, moving from a low of $75.31 on December 5, 2008 to closing much higher at $126.35 on November 30, 2009, so apparently IBM is doing something right.  Other companies, from the smallest micro-business to the largest corporation, will follow IBM?s lead and take more steps to safeguard customer?s private data. Otherwise, we could be in for tough times in the future as hackers become more prevalent as well as proficient.