You, with IBM: IBM annual report 2016

By | 3 minute read | March 16, 2017

You with IBM - annual report 2016

IBM has published its annual report for 2016: You, with IBM. The report contains detailed financial information around core investments and acquisitions, this year’s key announcements and plans for the future. Below are some key performance indicators and highlights to give a flavour of what 2016 has brought us. Read the full report for the complete picture.

It’s all about people

Perhaps it’s fitting that this year’s report places a great emphasis on the importance of people and collaboration. From the 380,000 IBMers that are at the heart of everything we do, to the businesses, clients and partners that have contributed to our vision, and us to theirs. After all, 2016 was the year that saw the bulk of the preparation for our Munich IoT Collaboratory, a celebrated hub of innovation and a place to share ideas and knowledge.

The report goes on to detail a multitude of case-studies from different industries: from healthcare, energy and utilities and construction to education and the arts.

Watson Health

Healthcare data is growing 48 percent per year, pouring in from electronic medical records, imaging, research, wearables and monitoring. No doctor can keep up with this vast onrush of information, but IBM Watson IoT can. Watson has ingested nearly 15 million pages from relevant journals and textbooks, and is now using that expertise to inform evidence-based treatment options for clinicians serving patients globally.

Engineers are rebuilding the world

The IoT has contributed a lot to the practice of engineering, too. With Watson’s cognitive abilities, specialists for oil and gas companies can predict and prevent pipeline failures almost a week in advance. Stadium Architects can create experiences that help fans get up close and personal. The NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and MLS’ Atlanta United are building the most technologically advanced stadium in the world.

Artists are finding their muse in the machine

Special effects artists at Prana Studios are creating amazing immersive experiences for theme park crowds, with a new IBM Cloud-based infrastructure that includes more than 1,000 high-performance servers. And in fall 2016, 20th Century Fox released the first-ever AI-generated movie trailer in just days, with the help of Watson.


Virgin Holidays created a custom rum blend designed to taste ‘like a vacation feels’, thanks to IBM Chef Watson Twist, which brings together flavours that complement each other at the molecular level.


Farmers are using hyper-local forecasts from The Weather Company to see highly precise predictive models to help manage their crops.


Insurers can prevent damage rather than pay for it – as meteorologists team up with insurance companies to predict imminent weather events and help car owners avoid damage.

The bottom line

There have been some big financial wins too:

  •       We achieved operating earnings per share of $13.59 and free cash flow of $11.6 billion.
  •       We invested heavily for our long-term competitiveness—nearly $6 billion in research and development, nearly $4 billion in capital expenditures and nearly $6 billion to make 15 acquisitions, adding to our capabilities in the high-growth areas of cognitive, cloud and security.
  •       We returned $8.8 billion to our shareholders, including dividends of $5.3 billion and $3.5 billion in gross share repurchases. We raised our dividend for the 21st consecutive year—and it was IBM’s 101st straight year of providing one.
  •       IBM is now the global leader in cloud for the enterprise. In 2016, our cloud business grew 35 percent, to $13.7 billion (adjusted for the effects of currency.)

The full picture

Read the full report to learn more about our year in 2016. You can explore our cognitive solutions by visiting the IoT website, or speak to a representative to find out how we can help you take the next step in bringing the IoT to your business.