IBM to step up investment in Taiwan

Ines Lin, Taipei; Eifeh Strom, DIGITIMES Asia 0


IBM plans to establish a new service center in southern Taiwan and beef up its total workforce in the country next year, according to industry sources.

The service center will be established in the southern city of Kaohsiung and will include an initial hiring wave of 200 employees in 2023, which will increase to 1,000 in five years. Hiring will focus on laborers and management positions. IBM Taiwan said it is optimistic about the long-term demand for enterprise digital transformation in Taiwan. Once proposed, the expansion plan was approved by the US headquarters in half a year.

The recruitment plan is expected to be the largest IBM has carried out in Taiwan in the last decade. Kaohsiung was selected for the new center in hopes of recruiting talent in Taiwan's south and expanding its connections with industries in the south.

Rick Wen, digital transformation leader at Deloitte, noted that the demand for digital transformation in various industries in Taiwan is strong, but companies lack software development talent.

Wen believes that in addition to increasing business, IBM's establishment in Kaohsiung will also reduce costs.

Sources pointed out that COVID-19 accelerated the pace of digital transformation among Taiwanese companies, increasing the demand for cloud access, ESG governance, and information security protection.

Although IBM provides its own IBM Cloud service, its consulting department still works with major cloud service providers, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud.

IBM's financial report divides its business into three major blocks: software, consulting, and infrastructure. According to the third-quarter 2022 financial report from IBM's headquarters, revenue totaled US$14.1 billion for an on-year increase of 6%. Revenue from software reached US$5.8 billion for a growth of 7.5%; consulting revenue reached US$4.7 billion for a 5.4% growth; and infrastructure revenue reached US$3.4 billion for a growth of 14%, mainly attributed to the next-gen mainframe IBM z16 that launched in April 2022.

IBM acquired open-source software company Red Hat in 2019 for US$34 billion, which was regarded as a key move in the hybrid multi-cloud market layout. IBM CEO Arvind Krishna was a major proponent of the acquisition. After becoming CEO in 2020, Krishna made hybrid cloud and AI technology IBM's core strategies.