Read: Robert X. Cringely - My first prediction for 2020 – IBM.
Watch youtube video: "The Decline of IBM"
Here is a summary of those two sources combined.
IBM is moving out of traditional managed hosting ('IT outsourcing') that is very much part of GTS. IBM is loosing money in GTS for many reasons (shrinking client base [in part due to past IBM bad decisions], lack of investment, lack of long term vision). This model is still viable because companies don't need just cloud 'services'. Companies need smart people to write software, configure, and run systems. Many companies are not staffed to do this job because good IT is hard, very hard.
GTS, and the rest of IBM, can't survive if IBM corporate leadership is focused primarily on quarterly financials/dividends and not investment towards technology excellence. A plant cannot thrive if you don't give it adequate water and light. GTS's cuts are a sign of corporate dyfunction, not just of changing market patterns.
Over the years IBM has sold off most of the core businesses that really mattered and were financially solid all in the name of quarterly 'gains'. This is short term thinking. Getting back to GAAP accounting would also force IBM to stop playing many of it's financial games.
IBM has become a company that buys and sells technologies, rather than inventing them. (Creating and selling patents is not a large enough core to support the employee base that IBM has.) IBM R&D funding has been slashed over the decades. IBM has forgotten why R&D is important. There is no perceivable long term technology vision outside of buzzwords like 'hybrid cloud'.
The Red Hat acquisition was/is the last chance IBM has. If IBM k–ls RH innovation culture, there are no other lifelines. To fix IBM start by lopping off most of the execs and put in Whitehurst and his RH team in charge.
Train all of GTS in OpenShift. Make it the core technology framework for IBM hosting/custom devops. Convert existing customers to OpenShift even if you have to charge less in conversion and initial licensing fees. This is strategic investment.
In short, do what Robert Cringely suggested, turn IBM into Red Hat. It was a 'Baby Bell', Southwestern Bell, that eventually took over the former parent AT&T. A similar action needs to occur for Red Hat and IBM.
There are still enough smart folks in IBM to save the company. But there is no substantial/meaningful feedback loop beyond a few polls/surveys within the company for the current execs to listen. There is no awareness at the exec level that they are decoupled from employees and actually need employee feedback to help drive success and to survive, and thrive.