Cloud and analytics help IBM exceed expectations

The company's strategic imperatives division contributed 50% of the company's overall revenues in the last year

IBM's strategic imperatives division, which includes its cloud, analytics, mobile and security technologies has contributed half of the company's revenues in the last 12 months, according to Big Blue's latest financial results - a significant increase compared to previous years.

Security revenues experienced the highest levels of growth in the second quarter of 2018, up 81% year-on-year, but cloud came in second with a 20% rise year-on-year. Analytics revenues increased by 7% and mobile revenues were up 5% during the last quarter.

But it was the cloud part of IBM's business that experienced mammoth gains over the entire 12 months, growing by 23% and totalling revenues of $18.5 billion. $8.2 billion of this was raked in from the company's hardware, software and services to offer customers hybrid cloud solutions across multi-cloud, private and public cloud services.

This is a significant step for the tech giant, marking its third consecutive period of growth, before which it suffered losses for a period of five years. Total revenues for the third quarter rose 4% across the company's entire business, which would suggest IBM's fortunes are on the up.

"After years of revenue declines, IBM is poised to return to sustainable, if modest, revenue growth and mid-single-digit EPS growth," analyst firm Stifel wrote in a note earlier this week.

The company has made some intelligent business decisions over the last year, including the purchase of Oniqua and streamlining of its Watson workforce, which saved some costs.

"While this may be anecdotal, we attended a major healthcare IT conference this spring, and informal conversations with Watson Health employees suggested that the business is beginning to feel a lot more cohesive and integrated than previously," Stifel added.

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