The New Big Three: IBM vs HP vs CISCO

If you haven’t seen the recent spat of announcements concerning the aforementioned “Big Three”, then you might have missed the pre-fight antics.  The world is shaping up to have “information plants” throughout – datacenters that are the center of all things we do: finance, health care, dating, vacation planning, socializing, water management, smart grid, etc.  These “information plants” will need to be as well optimized as any other manufacturing facility – heck, you might begin to see the bleeding of “lean manufacturing” concepts come to play into “lean programming” or something like that…but I digress.

The New Big Three – IBM, HP, CISCO – are all poised to be the major provider of hardware and software to these information plants along with providing services from within…for example, IBM just announced their panapoly of “smart water” services – http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/markets/industries/technology/ibm-unveils-smart-technologies-services-help-combat-mounting-global-water/ – this push to enable IT concepts of centralized monitoring, maintaining and managing into other commodities is the start of a foundation of the next generation of internet enabled, centralized computing platforms as a service and the Big Three are duking it out to grab global market share.

HP bought EDS & Opsware; Cisco has been buying everyone and just announed their new integrated servers, switches and routing hardware; and IBM is planning on buying Sun to take out the #4 provider and establish dominance in the information plant management space…what all three are not doing, yet,  is owning the real estate – this leaves the physical plants’ ownership up for grabs – DRT, Equinix, DuPont Fabros, 365Main, and many others will benefit from partnering with the big three.

As the dawn of the “information age’ was only 10-20yrs ago, we are still in the early stages of this nascent industry, however, it is moving rather quickly – the economic downturn is exactly what allows these three to begin to capture market share, acquire needed companies to fill in services gaps, and get ready for the economic uptick to happen…it will be an interesting next decade throughout the world as information plants are sought by countries and everything becomes web based…

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