IBM SA has joined other IBM offices around the world for the global launch of the IBM centenary celebrations. Marking the 100-year anniversary of its founding on June 16, 1911 with a year-long initiative, IBM will engage local communities and thought leaders with a series of activities themed around changing the way the world works.
“IBM has been present in South Africa for more than 25 years,” said Oliver Fortuin, country manager of IBM SA. “To mark our history in the region and to show our commitment to the future expansion of our business, we will celebrate IBM’s Centennial in South Africa with a number of activities including a day of service for the community in June when our employees will have the opportunity to apply their business skills and work experiences to address local critical community challenges and societal needs.”
Fortuin’s sentiments echo those of IBM’s chairman, president and CEOfficer, Samuel Palmisano who said “over the course of the last century, information technology has gone from a set of tools… to an industry… to a science… to a pervasive aspect of the modern world.”
Over its century of existence, IBM has played a leading role in transforming business, science and society. These areas form the basis for the three themes driving IBM’s centennial: re-inventing the modern corporation; pioneering the science of information; and making the world work better. Together they provide a basis for understanding how the rise of IT has changed society and the world.
IBM began its life making clocks, scales and cheese slicers, in addition to the punched-card tabulator. It then went on to develop typewriters, vacuum tube calculators, magnetic tape, the first disk drive, the memory chip, the Fortran programming language, fractals, ATMs, mainframes, minicomputers and personal computers. More recently, IBM has become known for its leadership in the area of supercomputers, services, software and business analytics.
“IBM’s inventions are the underpinnings of today’s technology industry,” says Fortuin. “They illustrate how IBM has consistently adapted to remain relevant to the changing needs of the modern world while touching the lives of many worldwide.”