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IBM's $20 Billion Shopping Spree

IBM is going on a shopping spree and has set aside $20 billion to do so. The company has been busy acquiring companies left and right. Their most recent acquisition was the purchase of Cast Iron Systems to beef up collaboration between on-premise and on-demand systems. The company plans on spending their $20 billion on acquisitions of companies in emerging markets. IBM’s CEO, Sam Palmisano, explains “If you think about IBM in 2015 it will be as dramatically different as IBM today versus 2003. More and more of our profit will come out of these higher value segments.”

Palmisano took over IBM in 2002 and has since spent $14 billion on 70 business acquisitions, specifically in the business analytics and optimization spaces. It is no surprise that Palmisano wants to continue IBM’s growth through strategic acquisitions, seeing as how successful the company has been as a result of his previous acquisition success.

The IT giant also plans on spending money on middleware, information management, information integration, and business process management spaces. The company has already expanded its business analytics and healthcare sectors with the purchases of National Interest Security Company and Initiate, respectively. This past December, IBM acquired Guardium to boost their real-time data tracking and discovery capabilities.

IBM isn’t the only company on a buying spree. Hewlett-Packard recently acquired 3Com and Electronic Data Services. Oracle has been busy on the acquisition front with a Sun Microsystems deal, followed most recently by the acquisition of Phase Forward.

[Photo courtesy of nerdheist.]