There are different kinds of consolidation; mergers and acquisitions, temporary partnerships, and even hostile takeovers. As times change, new combinations of people and institutions recombine and shuffle for optimal fit. This has certainly been highlighted for me in the past couple of weeks. First, I saw the financial battlefield of winners and losers with some institutions disappearing and others being picked by past competitors in ways we could never have imagined six months ago. Second, I attended a series of sessions on the dozens of software company acquisitions that IBM has folded into their portfolio over the last half-dozen years.
I've heard the process of folding these companies into the IBM world described as a core competency. The informal term I’ve heard is: 'blue-washing' and while can I imagine there may be a Harvard Business Review article on the detail someday, I can state, as an unofficial observer, that we get better at it each time a company is ‘blue-washed’. Externally, the process delivers tighter, pre-integrated solutions with more functionality for our clients. Doing these integrations of once isolated and disparate pieces can save our clients a huge amount of effort and time; as in an order of magnitude less effort.
This behind the scenes consolidation of middleware gets added to the consolidation efforts already underway in IT. Workload from legacy, ISVs, and e-business applications are moving in together where once they got to live in their own, sometimes messy, apartments. Platforms are merging for cost efficiency and infrastructure effectiveness, not unlike that house you may have rented with friends at college.
Of course, as we consolidate IT, some of us will have to get used to some different ways of doing things again; like System Z’s insistence that you share the common area, work with others, and pick up your garbage![Read More]