Is IBM's billion-dollar deal really that big?

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Is IBM's billion-dollar deal really that big?

COMMENT In stories now peaking across all news websites, not just the tech-focused ones, IBM has grabbed a billion-dollar contract with the federal government to…. basically…. just keep doing what is has been doing for decades.

That is, mostly, keeping the lights on in government data centres which still rely on their rusty old IBM mainframes.

But the deal claims to include everything Big Blue has on offer, so government departments can get themselves some cloudy stuff and some AI, without getting permission from 200 procurement officers first.

Presumably. Then again, IBM isn’t exactly known for being a leader up there in the clouds. Can you say Amazon ?

The deal is for five years supplying IBM hardware and services, so that’s $200m per year, and when you look at it this way, that’s not really a huge amount of money for the entire government. Okay, so it’s a fair whack of change for a single vendor, but the feds claim it actually saves money, so Rabid would like to see the invoices from IBM from the last few years. 

No doubt this information is readily available via Google, so let us know when you find it. You can skip the ones about IBM's epic census fail. We've seen those.

And since we know IBM no longer sells PCs and printers, and we also know that government staff need quite a few of those, how much will be spent on stuff that IBM doesn’t make any longer?

Don’t be surprised if it’s an even bigger number than one billion dollars. But it won’t all go to one vendor. Probably.

Let’s just hope the old joke from the 80s doesn’t prove totally accurate: that IBM stands for 'I’ve Been Misled'. 

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