Conclusion: HP’s acquisition of 3COM, Oracle’s acquisition of Sun Microsystems and Cisco’s move into blade servers are all clear signs that IT infrastructure is at the beginning of another major structural change. These events herald a transition from today’s Layered Components model, where best-of-breed components are purchased from a number of specialist vendors and then integrated by the IT organisation, to an Integrated Systems model where complete systems are purchased from a single vendor, avoiding the need for the IT organisation to act as a Systems Integrator.

IT organisations should look at adopting the Integrated Systems model when the costs and risks of acting as a System Integrator outweigh the benefits of competition at the component level (commoditisation and innovation).

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Kevin McIsaac

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Kevin McIsaac