Three Cloud-related announcements this week received a significant amount of media and analyst coverage:

  • HP made a series of announcements regarding its Cloud organization and offerings;
  • Qualcomm and The Linux Foundation announced the establishment of a vendor alliance dedicated to linking “the Internet of Things” (IoT); and
  • Rumors about an Android smartphone from Nokia went from simmering to boiling over.

In all three cases, interest in the announcements (or in Nokia’s case, rumors) was fueled by increasing IT vendor realization that having something “Cloud” related in their portfolio is no longer a compelling differentiator.
To be able to compete through the next decades or more, IT vendors (including services providers) must build business around a combination of standard technologies, ad hoc integration capabilities, and varying blends of mobility, social IT, analytics, and hybridized Cloud+on-premises business environments. Not IT environments, but business environments.

This is because the emergent IT reality is one of loosely-coupled, yet seamlessly-integrative platforms and services that support what Saugatuck calls the Boundary-free Enterprise™ (BfE). The core tenet of the BfE is as follows:

Business users expect no functional differences between systems, applications, and other IT, regardless of location, device, system used, or – most importantly – business function.

The three examples of vendor announcements/rumors/hype noted above spotlight how this revolution is affecting IT provider strategies and relationships.

Why is it Happening?

To understand how the BfE revolution is affecting IT provider strategies, let’s look at the three announcements/rumors receiving so much interest this week, as follows:

1. HP, Cloud, integration, and legacy. At its big event this week in Barcelona, HP announced and articulated its revamped and re-energized Cloud-first, hybrid-oriented technology and services, along with significant Cloud GTM organization realignment. In brief: HP has revised/adapted/expanded its core Cloud positioning to focus much more on the integration of all things Cloud-related.

2. The Internet of Hype. Qualcomm and The Linux Foundation this week achieved significant media coverage by announcing a vendor alliance to promote another open source framework/standard set aimed at helping to usher in the much-ballyhooed “Internet of Things.” Founded on Qualcomm’s pre-existing AllJoyn technology, the alliance aims at promoting standardized inter-device communications to provide a “seamless” user environment that allows interaction between – at this point – consumer devices like TVs, refrigerators,  and game consoles.

3. Nokia and Microsoft birth an Android? Finally this week, long-standing rumors of an Android-powered smartphone being developed within Nokia resurfaced. This is only rumor only at this point, but given that Nokia is not only (almost) owned by Microsoft, but that Nokia is the “poster child” for Windows Phone OS, it’s a juicy rumor that has analysts and pundits buzzing about its potential effects, i.e.:  If true, can Nokia bring it to market; and if yes, do so without cannibalizing Windows? Is MSFT willing and able to extend/expand its software and hardware universe to include Android? Would such a move help MSFT to maintain and increase its presence and dominance in some markets? Is it just a rumor, or a prototype that will never see the light of day?

Two of these three items are futuristic and directional; HP’s actions and announcements reflect current and recent activity and offerings. But each of these announcements is an indication that the provider(s) involved feel tremendous market pressure from the increasing and accelerating demands of the BfE.

As Saugatuck has been advising clients since the early days of SaaS, Cloud in all its forms means that providers have to re-invent themselves. That typically means:

  • Developing and refining new go-to-market organizations, positioning, and portfolios (e.g., HP above),
  • Re-aligning and re-purposing existing technologies and offerings (e.g., HP and Qualcomm), and
  • Developing or exploring adjunct lines of business to extend not only one’s offerings, but also to extend one’s ability to develop and satisfy new customers and partners (e.g., HP, Qualcomm, and Nokia).

And to re-emphasize a critical point made above regarding the BfE present and future: Everything must be integratable with minimal effort by users and enterprise IT resources.  Hence the common theme in all three items above regarding integration:

  • HP is emphasizing not just its technologies and solutions, but how they enable better integration with more aspects of customer environments;
  • Qualcomm’s alliance with The Linux Foundation is an effort to position its AllSync (now “AllSeen”) technology as a means of integrating consumer devices and services now, and commercial/enterprise devices in the future; and
  • Nokia’s (likely) Android efforts at least partly reflect an effort to enable more integration between disparate mobile devices, users, applications, and environments.

Clickhereto read the market impact.

This blog was originally published atSaugatuck's Lens360 blogon December 12, 2013. Published with permission.

 

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