The background is an announcement that revenues in the area have dropped six per cent since this time last year (they still stand at $433.5m for the first quarter of the year). This appears to be part of an ongoing trend.
IBM will no doubt respond by pushing its cloud services through its indirect channel, but there can be no doubt that more recent entrants such as Amazon Web Services will have taken a sizeable chunk of the market.
IBM has morphed into something else as the market has changed before: famously it established the IBM-compatible PC and then stopped making them when there was still growth in the market.
It will be instructive to watch what it does now that a traditional area of growth may have fallen into some slight decline.