Strategic Tech Slideshow: 10 Tech Firms For CIOs to WatchBy Don Reisinger | Posted 08-01-2012
Dell is looking to expand its enterprise reach beyond its core PC and server-making businesses to become a full-fledged IT solutions provider. Software-along with networking and storage-plays a key role in that effort, and Dell been buying up software makers to help build out its portfolio.
Hewlett-Packard is planning to lay off some 27,000 employees (about 8 percent of its workforce) as part of a major restructuring worldwide over the next two years. CEO Meg Whitman, is working on righting the enterprise stalwart. As of May 2012 some analysts were advising IT leaders to "future proof" their strategies and procurement plans against the uncertainty plaguing the company.
Research In Motion's BlackBerry and accompanying BlackBerry Enterprise Server were once the dominant mobile forces in the enterprise - and for many businesses they remain so. Yet, the company's BlackBerry smartphones have walked into the iPhone buzzsaw. Now, with the BYOD trend transforming enterprise mobility, RIM is in deep trouble, despite having a reported 77 million subscribers worldwide. Can its upcoming BlackBerry 10 platform and new mobile device management solutions turn the company around?
In an era of so-called BYOD (bring your own device) practices, in which employees bring their personal phones and tablets to the office, enterprises tend to give Apple's iOS mobile platform for iPhone and iPad the nod over Google's Android devices. Apple takes a more assertive role in governing what applications can run on its devices than does Google. And even its Mac 0S X operating system is beginning to make enterprise inroads.
With Microsoft Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Office 2013 and Office 365 all hitting the market this year, Microsoft remains a major enterprise force to be reckoned with. IT managers who are charged with equipping stationary, as well as mobile, workers with the these full-fledged email, document processing, presentation, spreadsheet and socially aware collaboration tools will likely find Office 2013 and Office 365 a compelling refresh of familiar productivity tools.
Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion was a game changer that put the search giant on enterprise radar like never before. Its latest smartphone, the Motorola Atrix HD, is squarely targeting the professional mobile device user. Google remains an unknown entity for many CIOs. However, as the firm continues to grow and change, we might see its corporate appeal grow.
In its 35-year history, Oracle has been a producer and strong proponent of convention, highly centralized on-premise data management systems. On June 6, all of that changed with the launch of the full-service Oracle Cloud, complete with platform services, application services and social networking services. Oracle finds itself competing head-to-head for business dollars with IBM, which provides similar services, and smaller companies like Salesforce.com, which have focused their competitive strategy on the cloud. Microsoft's increasing interest in providing cloud services for business via Azure is another area of potential concern for this enterprise juggernaut.
Lenovo has introduced some intriguing product innovations, including the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, a sub-3 lb. 14-inch notebook in a carbon fiber chassis and embedded 3G wireless. It's just one of several new introductions its line of business computing devices that should appeal to enterprise users. The company has also taken the plunge into Android, working on a smartphone currently available only in the China market and the IdeaTab Android tablet, launched in May 2012.
Facebook might seem like a surprising addition to this roundup, but consider that the service is used widely by employees and can be a marketing tool, and all of that changes. Like it or not, Facebook is now a company that CIOs must consider as a legitimate business tool.
IBM got a new CEO earlier this year, company veteran Virginia Rometty. Expect the cloud to be front-and-center of IBM's strategies under Rometty, a move that observers say is likely to reshape the company's traditional outsourcing services model. The company is also making major moves to offer products and services, such as its Smarter Storage initiative, aimed at helping enterprises tackle big data challenges.