Strategic CIO // Executive Insights & Innovation
Commentary
3/20/2009
11:06 AM
Rob Preston
Rob Preston
Commentary
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

In Consolidating IT Industry, All Bets Are Off

Polite vendor execs used to call it "coopetition"--the state of tech industry affairs whereby the fiercest of rivals could be the chummiest of partners depending on the circumstances and the market they're chasing. A more up-to-date and colloquial description of this industry dynamic might be: All bets are off. Some recent evidence:

Polite vendor execs used to call it "coopetition"--the state of tech industry affairs whereby the fiercest of rivals could be the chummiest of partners depending on the circumstances and the market they're chasing. A more up-to-date and colloquial description of this industry dynamic might be: All bets are off. Some recent evidence:


"Human sacrifice. Dogs and cats living together. Mass hysteria!"
- Dr. Peter Venkman, Ghostbusters (1984)

• IBM and Sun, once bitter rivals owing mostly to IBM's early support of Linux, which undercut Sun's low-end servers, are now reportedly in talks to merge.

• Sun ended up releasing Solaris, the jewel of its high-end server business, as open source code and is now making its way into cloud computing by offering to give away its cloud infrastructure to potential competitors.

• Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, who last year was slagging off the cloud computing movement (and players such as Salesforce.com) as only so much drivel, this week was trumpeting Oracle's commitment to and investments in cloud products and infrastructure.

• Amazon Web Services has established itself as a leader in cloud computing, partly by offering branded server, database, and other IT products from the likes of Microsoft, Oracle, and IBM on its cloud platform. But as Microsoft, Oracle, and IBM power up their own cloud offerings, you can bet their relationships with Amazon will cool considerably.

• Cisco, with partners VMware, BMC, Intel, and Microsoft in tow, is now taking on IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and Dell in blade servers. At the same time, HP is digging deeper into Cisco's switching business. John Chambers, CEO of Cisco--which lists HP and IBM among only a handful of Strategic Alliance Partners--is unfazed by the complexity: "We focus on market transitions, not competitors. You've got to play the hand this market has dealt you."

What are some other recent examples of dogs and cats living together in this fast-changing, consolidating industry?

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The Business of Going Digital
The Business of Going Digital
Digital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - September 10, 2014
A high-scale relational database? NoSQL database? Hadoop? Event-processing technology? When it comes to big data, one size doesn't fit all. Here's how to decide.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.