Thinking About Thinking

The Google Shift In Enterprise IT

Posted in Technology by larrycheng on March 9, 2010

Through our portfolio companies, we have a view into how Google is perceived for both large enterprise and small/medium enterprise computing needs.  In some board meetings, I find myself exhorting management teams not to underestimate the impact of Google.  In other board meetings, I find myself cautioning management teams not to overestimate Google.  This dynamic is best portrayed in a recent Goldman Sachs IT Spending Survey.

When IT execs are asked about their top 3 strategic IT vendors today, the top three are:

  1. Microsoft
  2. Cisco
  3. HP

Google ranks 13th out of 18 large IT vendors.  This lends credence to the “don’t overestimate Google” refrain.  Arguably, Google’s lone successful product is still search.  For example, Chrome, Google Apps, Mobile Phones, and Gmail are not close to being market share leaders in any of their respective segments. 

But when IT execs are asked about their top 3 strategic IT vendors in 3 years, the top three are:

  1. VMWare
  2. Google
  3. EMC

Surprisingly enough, HP and Microsoft go from the top 3 to the bottom two.  This lends credence to the “don’t underestimate Google” refrain.  Infinite resources, sheer determination, and a business model that turns industries upside down is the type of competitor not to underestimate. 

I’m not sure it matters if Google succeeds in winning certain product categories.  Through the process of trying to win, Google will upset traditional business and delivery models which will in and of itself have a material impact on enterprise computing.  Even if Google “loses”, their impact will be far-reaching.  That’s the reality enterprise IT companies have to prepare for. 

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