Opinion

Leo higlights the split driving the industry


The announcements that came out of Hewlett-Packard last night have rocked the IT world but perhaps shouldn't be that surprising given that the man running the vendor has a strong background in software.

Coming from SAP Leo Apotheker knows all about how to make money out of software and services, particularly at the enterprise end of the market, and so the Autonomy acquisition would appeal to him.

But in addition to that he is looking to make his mark after the shenanigans still in the memory after he came in to replace Mark Hurd the former CEO and doing something dramatic like dumping its tablet and exiting the PC market will certainly mark a watershed and establish the 'Leo era' at the vendor.

He has certainly made his mark but does so in the wider context of an industry that is splitting between those that do the hardware and those that opt to provide the software and infrastructure services to make it all gel together.

If you want proof that cloud is changing the landscape then this development is a great example of that because HP will keep the back-end and the software but is happy to let the user terminal access points go.

The decision to spin off the PCs instantly brings to mind the IBM decision to sell off to Lenovo and with the recent figures from the likes of Gartner and IDC showing the desktop market slumping its totally understandable why that side of operations is seen as one worth exiting.

IBN has the advantage that it is already doing what HP is going to become and of course the likes of software pure-players like Microsoft and SAP have years of expertise in the market and will prove to be tough competition.

What HP has announced will be one of those moments that marks a watershed in the industry. Just like the Compaq acquisition and the Lenovo moves with IBM this is one of those decisions that indicates the underlying trends in the industry are shifting.

Customers will take notice, resellers will of course have to keep up with the changes and as the dust settles the next question will be who else coming from a strong hardware background feels the need to move to the other side of the fence as the split in the industry deepens. 

This was first published in August 2011

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