BusinessWeek recently published an article “In Silicon Valley, Hardware is Hot Again.” Almost all big names started to sell hardware now, Microsoft, Google, and Apple of course. Apple’s stellar success in iPhone and iPad disrupted the conventional wisdom that software is higher in margin compared to hardware. Also, Apple’s hardware and software combined devices posts a real risk for Microsoft and Google. To be exact, the hardware in the article title should really be software bundled hardware. That is why Google and Microsoft had to get into hardware business competing directly against Apple.
The hardware in discussion is mostly consumer oriented hardware, which is increasingly like fashion where style is almost everything. The reason for consumer hardware to be hot again does not apply to enterprise hardware because the IT professionals do not interact with the hardware as much as consumers, therefore do not care as much about the style as the consumers.
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But the article makes me to think these questions:
- How can enterprise hardware vendors take advantage of this trend in consumer hardware?
- Will enterprise hardware follow the footstep of consumer hardware to be hot again?
- If yes, what could be driving forces? And, what can enterprise hardware vendors act accordingly?
I don’t have sure answers, but think these are good questions for everyone working in enterprise hardware business to think about. I think if the enterprise hardware is going to be hot again, it has to do with performance, integration, and management to support new paradigms of computing like private cloud, big data processing, etc.
Please feel free to share your thoughts here.