Is IBM’s Growth in Asia-Pacific Good News for Watson?



Asia-Pacific is expected to grow faster than North America in the IoT space

Previously in the series, we looked at IBM’s (IBM) fiscal 1Q16 results. We saw that for all geographies, Asia-Pacific was the only one that posted growth in fiscal 1Q16. Although the 1% growth is meager, it provides a sizable opportunity for IBM’s Watson. Watson is a cognitive computing system that analyzes large volumes of data, understands complex questions posed in natural language, and proposes evidence-based answers. These are the core elements of cognitive computing and deep learning.

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According to TBR (Technology Business Research), North America dominates the commercial IoT (Internet of Things) space with 40.3% market share. It’s followed by Asia-Pacific, which holds a 24.8% share. Although Asia-Pacific is behind North America in market share, it’s expected to grow 16% compared to the 14.1% growth expectation in North America.

IoT, cloud, mobile, and cognitive computing will rule the future IT space

As you can see in the above graph by IBM and Statista, cloud computing, mobile, IoT, and cognitive computing are expected to be the technologies that will shape the near future. Gartner expects spending on IoT hardware to exceed $2.5 million every minute in 2016.

In addition to IBM, several other companies are making headway in this space. In October 2015, General Electric (GE) announced that it made nearly $6 billion from industrial IoT offerings. Amazon (AMZN), an undisputed leader in the cloud space, acquired 2lemetry, an IoT platform startup, in March 2015.

Fortinet (FTNT) also aims to capitalize on the growing IoT phenomenon in Asia-Pacific. According to IDC (International Data Corporation), spending on IoT is expected to grow at a 17% CAGR (compounded annual growth rate) to approximately $1.3 trillion in 2019. It was $698.6 billion in 2015. Of this total IoT spending, Asia-Pacific is expected to be at the top in 2016.

Investors who want exposure to IBM can consider investing in the iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV). IVV has an 8.5% exposure to application software and a 0.68% exposure to IBM.

Let’s move on now to see how IBM is targeting blockchain technology through Watson.


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