IBM Reviews

Updated May 13, 2015
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IBM CEO Virginia Rometty
Virginia Rometty
5 Ratings

Pros
  • You can work from home or office (when you are in town) (in 1347 reviews)

  • Depending on projects - excellent work-life balance (in 1315 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance is basically non existent (in 423 reviews)

  • Senior management has lost it's sense of what the corporate mission is (in 214 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

12 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    IBM

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Houston, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Incredibly talented and dedicated workforce.

    Cons

    Over the last 15-20 years, IBM has been moving from the Exceptional Excellence model company to the Middle-of-the-Road Mediocre model. All driven by the Financial Executive wieners trying to squeeze another 1/2% of margin out of the Financial reports. This model has been slowly sucking the company dry of dedicated go-the-distance workforce talent.

    Advice to Management

    Company executives treating employees as disposable assets and used to manipulate the company's Wall Street performance. Hardware and Software manufacturing are no longer the core backbone of IBM. High-margin Consulting Services and Technical Delivery Services are the core business. The IBM Employees are the life-blood of this service-oriented business.


  2. Helpful (1)

    About work culture, career growth, salary...these comments are more relevant for folks planning on joining GBS

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Managing Consultant in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Managing Consultant in Houston, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great Work culture Great colleagues Great projects

    Cons

    Little room for promotions for the 8+ yrs that I was there; management is trying to change it. Company dumped folks when it came time to help transition people; some of the folks had already worked out a move to other groups but that was blocked and people dumped in the recent "RA" exercise Poor bonuses. Poor rating process You get stuck at the salary you joined. Leadership works with 1 or 2 of it's favorite individuals and then no opportunities for the rest.

    Advice to Management

    Declining sales for 12 consecutive quarters...look at cutting your sales people OR challenge them to be diverse and work with different individuals on proposal


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Don't protect the past…which seems to include many of the reasons to work there"

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior IT Specialist in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Senior IT Specialist in Houston, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at IBM full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    You have an opportunity to work with some very smart and seasoned people. Benefits are generally good. Depending on your management, you may have an opportunity to move around and manage your career.

    Cons

    Training other than self-study/off-hours is pretty much non-existent due to spending budget restrictions. The internal education site "free classes" are mundane and out-of-date. Morale overall was pretty downtrodden. Every cycle a couple of people would disappear from immediate or matrixes teams in the next resource action, even where no low/mid-performers in revenue-generating roles. No longer a long-term career for most outside of management. Benefits decreasing or disappearing. Managers can limit your mobility within company by identifying you as a "critical" resource based on job-role, but have no means to justify keeping the headcount when the cuts are mandated.

    Advice to Management

    Culture and values are spiraling downward. May be great if you make it to the other side of Roadmap 2015, but negatively impacting a large number of quality, performing US workers along the way. Quality and time to delivery is suffering.


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  5. Reached a peak of job satisfaction 5-7 years ago, downhill since then

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Architect in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - IT Architect in Houston, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at IBM full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Work from home arrangements, Name recognition, dealing with a global team... you will meet everyone from everywhere, but only if you travel on business. Benefits are still good, compared to other places, but being reduced each year.

    Cons

    IBM has a huge work from home culture, however I wouldn't necessarily call it work-life balance, as you are always expected to drop what you are doing 24/7 for conference calls. Your manager may be in another country and from a culture which is not similar to your own... but you will change managers every year and the only thing the new manager will know about you is what your previous manager tells them in the turn-over meeting. I probably had 8 managers in the last decade while staying in the same job role. I only ever met 2 of them in person.

    Advice to Management

    Not really worth the time, the band 9 and 10 managers have no power to influence or change anything, and the people above them do not listen to anything from "the ranks"


  6. Extraordinary time constraints, lots of overtime

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Embedded Software Engineer in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Embedded Software Engineer in Houston, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at IBM full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    IBM Name was considered positive, nice to wear IBM badge

    Cons

    Too much overtime, very overworked

    Advice to Management

    Add staff, make realistic schedules


  7. It used to be a good company to work for

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Financial Analyst in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Financial Analyst in Houston, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at IBM full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    A Well known company. A good place to learn and use new software. There is room for growth depending on your expertise and where you work.

    Cons

    The bulk of the work is being sent out of the united states. They used to use folks in the U.S. to do the work. Now like many other companies, they use India, Brazil etc. They are all about numbers, layoffs and cutting corners. Its not like the old IBM I knew and loved. They let folks go and double the work the current workers have without compensation.

    Advice to Management

    Don't forget what made this company, Watson must be rolling around in his grave


  8. Helpful (7)

    I don't see a long term future for US-based staff

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Houston, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    I have been able to travel and meet people from all over the world. IBM can look very good on your resume, depending on your job role. IBM is very big on the work at home program, and I have not been into the local IBM office in several years (I usually only end up at an IBM site when I am traveling on business).

    Cons

    I was acquired by IBM in 2002. I have changed managers on average once per year since then and have only ever met two of my managers while I was working for them (I met two others after they were no longer my manager). I normally have to explain to my new manager what I actually do, and they develop their own perceptions based on what the previous manager told them I do... it's kinda like the telephone game, the 2002 manager describes to the 2003 manager what I do, the 2003 manager describes it to the 2004 manager, etc. and they end up with some vague idea of SOME of what you actually do. In the US, there is very little training given, as they seem to be investing heavily in training the "global" resources. The former CEO made a statement at the beginning of 2012 that US workers are not willing to learn anything new so they have had to turn to global resources. There are many IBMers in the US willing and eager to learn, but there is only so much you can do with free computer based training and little investment in classroom training. When taking vacations or going on extended assignments, it is your responsibility to find someone else to cover your duties and responsibilities (which is hard if you are the only person on your team who does what you do). It is usually easier for me to just stay "on-call" while on vacation, rather than call in favors to get someone to cover my work and then spend a week catching them up to speed on the multiple projects I am juggling.

    Advice to Management

    Morale is dangerously low within IBM US. The majority of people I know, when asked one on one, are looking for other jobs, or they are close enough to retirement that they are sticking it out in hopes that they can make it to retirement prior to being let go. Most of us do not see a future for the US worker based on the 2015 roadmap and IBM's aggressive layoffs in the US, while hiring like crazy in AP (India, Philippines, etc.)


  9. Helpful (2)

    Needs Improvement

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technical Consultant in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Technical Consultant in Houston, TX
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    well, you gotta go with the flow and be a yes man to survive

    Cons

    Rule 1. The Boss is always right Rule 2. If you this you are right, suggest that you look up rule 1.

    Advice to Management

    Try and be flexible in your approach. Rigidity breaks down.


  10. Helpful (2)

    Management is not listening to the workers in the trenches

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Managing Consultant in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Senior Managing Consultant in Houston, TX
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Fellow practitioners make IBM a great place to work. The talent is very good and can accomplish anything given the chance.

    Cons

    The company is being run by accountants. Every year there is something else that is reduced which is affecting morale and productivity. Basic software that my customer has that I can't get. I know many people who buy their own copies of software just to do their job we are asked to do. Education is a big complaint as well. And every employee gets animated when we bring up the subject thanks awards.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to those in the trenches and see what their pain points are. Help us do our job by giving us the tools necessary to be successful. Stop seeing everything as an expenditure to be cut to meet the bottom line.


  11. Helpful (1)

    Big Blue doesn't know how to develop & retain young talent.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Consultant in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Consultant in Houston, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    great benefits - health care, 401K good starting salary, hard to get laid off unless there is a recession or the company is doing poorly.

    Cons

    senior management does not care about your career. They only care if you are billable. Promotions are hard to comeby. If you don't get the right project and role, you have no chance of moving up. Raises are only 2-3% per year unless they determine you're being underpaid compared to the market. When I left IBM, I was getting paid as much as a new college hire even though I had 2+ years under my belt. Performance ratings based too much upon utilization. It's not our fault if you can't find a project for us. Annual Bonuses are lousy, barely 2%

    Advice to Management

    You need better training and development for collegehires. Don't make them staple papers for the first 3 months or continuously place them in glorified admin roles called project management assistants.



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