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IBM President Jim Whitehurst’s 10 Boldest Remarks From Best Of Breed Virtual 2020

“I come from the airline industry,” said Whitehurst. “They say planes don’t have rearview mirrors. If you’re moving forward, it doesn’t matter what’s behind you.”

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A Year From Normalcy

“I think we’re probably a year away, solidly a year away from we’re coming back to some type of normalcy,” Whitehurst said of the current coronavirus pandemic and the economic disruptions it has caused.

“So 2021 will feel a lot like where we are right now. And what that means, and what we are seeing certainly across our portfolio of products – we have a set of products that’s going gangbusters and some that are frankly shrinking, and a lot has to do with how do they fit in today’s context. So things that are easy to install and use, that can be installed remotely, SaaS, consumption-oriented products are really going well and we’re seeing tons of traction there. Things that require big, heavy on-premises, onsite kind of projects, those are a little tougher right now.”

“Let’s assume budgets are going to be, I’m going to say flattish to up very slightly next year. But the makeup of those are going to be much more around the digital transformation-oriented types of projects that are … when people aren’t necessarily getting in a room together.”

“And so, a lot of SaaS, a lot of consumption orientation. It’s one of the reasons we’re investing so hard around Cloud Paks to make our software much easier and more frictionless to use.”

“I think that’s what we’re seeing going into next year. So I’m a real optimist for technology for next year, but the mix within that, it’s just going to continue to look a little different as it has kind of through the middle of this year.”

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