Welcome!

IBM Cloud Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Stefan Bernbo

Blog Feed Post

The Third Epoch: Re-verticalization of IT

The shift from the mainframe to modern epochs in IT infrastructure has been well documented numerous times. Depending on the particular storyteller, the tale starts with deeply-integrated, vertical stacks that encompass everything from compute to networking in large systems that required small armies of people to deploy and manage.

As technology matured and the Internet exploded, what were once integrated functions were broken out into standalone components. This led to the second real epoch in IT infrastructure, most notable because it gave birth to the best of breeders.

This second epoch has served us well. We saw the birth of new architectures. We have perched upon new performance peaks. We have mastered new capabilities that have transformed the whole of IT. And because we are cobbling together our solutions from standalone components, we have been able to do all of this while we customize the architecture to suit our sometimes very unique needs.

But all of that has come at a cost: namely, complexity. We might experience that complexity firsthand in the form of policy madness. Or we might be secondhand consumers, choosing to deal with it by paying for service integration. Whichever we choose, we ultimately pay in one way or another.

The costs of infrastructure assembly—both time and money—are already shaping the market. Efforts like VCE and Exadata are good indicators of a change in how infrastructure and applications are consumed. Rather than relying on specialists who integrate products upon delivery, some customers are choosing to purchase already-integrated solutions.

The distinction here is integration as a service vs. integration as part of a product. In the former, integration is the outcome of some effort that happens after a product is shipped. In the latter, integration is an actual part of the product. The difference between the two might seem subtle, but it is important in terms of how the market will evolve.

If you believe that buying patterns will shift more towards a re-verticalization of IT, then individual constituents in the current IT stack will ultimately align to a relatively small number of overarching IT providers. You won’t have an integration layer in the market that handles this function (or more precisely, that layer becomes much smaller).

Today there is a swath of resellers and systems integrators that perform this integration function. In a re-verticalized market, the large suppliers handle the integration burden by assembling products that are already integrated and providing both the services and support around the final infrastructure as a whole.

This makes perfect business sense because right now those large players are leaving money on the table. If they can act as their own integrators, they can keep pricing low (essentially lowering prices but maintaining margins by cutting out the supplier in the middle).

Of course, this is not a transition that everyone can make. The largest suppliers have the customer relationships to pull this off. The smaller suppliers do not have the product center of gravity, and they lack the customer reach to operate at the kind of scale necessary to dominate.

These dynamics form the major case behind the mass consolidation of infrastructure suppliers, and arguably this is why Cisco’s CEO John Chambers has both set Cisco’s targets on being the number 1 IT supplier, and predicted a brutal consolidation of the networking space.

It is conceivable that the market can only support a small number of very large companies. Oracle and Cisco would seem poised to do well here, as would companies like HP. Dell is interesting depending on what other steps they take from a solutions perspective. IBM and maybe even companies like Intel start to look interesting.

There will be very large companies that end up on the outside looking in. It would not be surprising to see multi-billion-dollar companies struggle to grow in a changing environment like this. They might not outright die (epochs in IT are measured in decades, not individual years), but they could see a radical tapering of growth, which typically leads to other issues (talent, product pipeline, and so on).

Now while this new epoch of IT might be characterized by the mega suppliers, it won’t be only the large players that have a role. It is possible to deliver components as part of an integrated solution. But the platforms themselves will be fundamentally different, which means the next epoch components must be designed with a different endgame in mind.

The question is really about how companies exist in the second epoch while simultaneously preparing for the third. This is nontrivial – enough so that it deserves its own (future) blog post.

[Today’s fun fact: The first lighthouse to use electricity was the Statue of Liberty. Come on, baby, light my fire.]

The post The Third Epoch: Re-verticalization of IT appeared first on Plexxi.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Michael Bushong

The best marketing efforts leverage deep technology understanding with a highly-approachable means of communicating. Plexxi's Vice President of Marketing Michael Bushong has acquired these skills having spent 12 years at Juniper Networks where he led product management, product strategy and product marketing organizations for Juniper's flagship operating system, Junos. Michael spent the last several years at Juniper leading their SDN efforts across both service provider and enterprise markets. Prior to Juniper, Michael spent time at database supplier Sybase, and ASIC design tool companies Synopsis and Magma Design Automation. Michael's undergraduate work at the University of California Berkeley in advanced fluid mechanics and heat transfer lend new meaning to the marketing phrase "This isn't rocket science."

@ThingsExpo Stories
DXWorldEXPO LLC, the producer of the world's most influential technology conferences and trade shows has announced the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO "Early Bird Registration" is now open. Register for Full Conference "Gold Pass" ▸ Here (Expo Hall ▸ Here)
Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant tha...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
I think DevOps is now a rambunctious teenager - it's starting to get a mind of its own, wanting to get its own things but it still needs some adult supervision," explained Thomas Hooker, VP of marketing at CollabNet, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Recently, WebRTC has a lot of eyes from market. The use cases of WebRTC are expanding - video chat, online education, online health care etc. Not only for human-to-human communication, but also IoT use cases such as machine to human use cases can be seen recently. One of the typical use-case is remote camera monitoring. With WebRTC, people can have interoperability and flexibility for deploying monitoring service. However, the benefit of WebRTC for IoT is not only its convenience and interopera...
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
Detecting internal user threats in the Big Data eco-system is challenging and cumbersome. Many organizations monitor internal usage of the Big Data eco-system using a set of alerts. This is not a scalable process given the increase in the number of alerts with the accelerating growth in data volume and user base. Organizations are increasingly leveraging machine learning to monitor only those data elements that are sensitive and critical, autonomously establish monitoring policies, and to detect...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settl...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Robert Cohen, an economist and senior fellow at the Economic Strategy Institute, presented the findings of a series of six detailed case studies of how large corporations are implementing IoT. The session explored how IoT has improved their economic performance, had major impacts on business models and resulted in impressive ROIs. The companies covered span manufacturing and services firms. He also explored servicification, how manufacturing firms shift from se...
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of bus...
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, compared the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, examin...
IoT solutions exploit operational data generated by Internet-connected smart “things” for the purpose of gaining operational insight and producing “better outcomes” (for example, create new business models, eliminate unscheduled maintenance, etc.). The explosive proliferation of IoT solutions will result in an exponential growth in the volume of IoT data, precipitating significant Information Governance issues: who owns the IoT data, what are the rights/duties of IoT solutions adopters towards t...
Amazon started as an online bookseller 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a technology juggernaut that has disrupted multiple markets and industries and touches many aspects of our lives. It is a relentless technology and business model innovator driving disruption throughout numerous ecosystems. Amazon’s AWS revenues alone are approaching $16B a year making it one of the largest IT companies in the world. With dominant offerings in Cloud, IoT, eCommerce, Big Data, AI, Digital Assista...
Organizations planning enterprise data center consolidation and modernization projects are faced with a challenging, costly reality. Requirements to deploy modern, cloud-native applications simultaneously with traditional client/server applications are almost impossible to achieve with hardware-centric enterprise infrastructure. Compute and network infrastructure are fast moving down a software-defined path, but storage has been a laggard. Until now.