CIOs wary of IBM-Lenovo deal, says Merrill Lynch

Chief information officers at companies that are IBM customers are evenly split on whether the sale of IBM's PC division to China's Lenovo Group will cause them to consider switching vendors, according to a Merrill Lynch research report published this week.

For the report Merrill Lynch surveyed 100 CIOs of which 75 were in the U.S. and the remainder in Europe.

Sixty CIOs said that the deal represented a good decision for IBM while 28 said it did not, and 12 were unsure on the move.

Of the total group, 44 people said they are IBM PC customers. Among these, 45 percent said the deal will cause them to consider switching vendors, while 43 percent said they wouldn't. The remainder said they are unsure. Additionally, 45 percent of those IBM PC customers said that their purchases of other IBM equipment would fall if they switched.

"Almost half of IBM PC users said they would consider switching, a high figure even recognizing that not all will," said Steven Milunovich, first vice president at Merrill Lynch, in the report. "More problematic for IBM is the finding that PC switchers might buy less of other IBM products as well."

Asked about vendor IT mergers in general, only 37 of the 100 CIOs polled expressed support while 51 said they are against them. On another big IT merger of the moment, 44 people said the union of Symantec and Veritas Software makes sense, 17 people said it doesn't and 39 people said they are unsure.

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