Amazon Web Services represents perhaps the most disruptive threat faced by the traditional set of enterprise vendors — and IBM is stepping up to address the AWS threat with a vengeance.
IBM knows how to deal with threats like this. The company has more than a century of experience fighting off disruptive competitors. Most of them are long gone, while IBM is still with us, so the firm’s approach has historically been very successful.
IBM is gearing up for war. Since Amazon is mucking around in IBM’s space, the folks in Armonk should have the positional advantage. I focus here on IBM’s strengths compared to Amazon’s weaknesses largely because Amazon isn’t fundamentally an IT solutions provider. Rather, Amazon is a successful retailer that found a low-cost way to provide services through their retail model to IT. Typically, these efforts don’t survive; in the face of focused competition, they aren’t adjacent to the firm’s core business (retail, in Amazon’s case). IBM is honed in, once again, on proving this well tested theory.