IBM to cut 1,700 jobs as it shifts market focus

The tech giant reportedly has over 7,000 openings, but 1.5% of current jobs will go to streamline the business

IBM building

IBM has confirmed that it's laying off a small percentage of its staff as it shifts focus on other segments of the IT market.

The news first appeared on an online messaging board on Thursday, with the company confirming it later in the day, and according to CNBC a person familiar with the matter said the cuts affect about one and a half per cent of employees.

In its last proxy statement, IBM has more than 340,000 employees, which means that some 1,700 jobs are set to be cut. On the company's jobs page, however, it lists 7,705 openings.

Nevertheless, IBM is pursuing the job cuts as part of a plan to streamline its own business.

"We are continuing to reposition our team to align with our focus on the high-value segments of the IT market, and we also continue to hire aggressively in critical new areas that deliver value for our clients and IBM," a spokesperson told CNBC.

Currently, IBM lags behind in the cloud computing market, due to its nominal presence in the public cloud as it specialises in data centres and private cloud. But IBM is currently completing its acquisition of open-source software firm Red Hat for $34 billion, with the deal set to be completed by the end of the year, which promises to open up scope for IBM to expand into new parts of the IT market. 

IBM is aiming to tap into business from companies banking on public clouds, such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

The company is hoping the acquisition of Red Hat will make a difference and dig into new market opportunities such as hybrid clouds or cloud integration market.

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