It’s a compelling sign of the times when a $1.2B acquisition of a Cloud-based services provider gets little more than a de facto “well, that makes sense” from the IT marketplace. But those are the times in which we live, and that’s what’s happened so far as a result of storage Master Brand EMC buying Virtustream.
Not very long ago, Wall Street pundits and industry analysts would be scrutinizing the deal in very granular fashion, raising questions over the fact that Virtustream is a Cloud-based services provider while EMC is a very traditional storage and storage management, asking where will the disconnects will be, examining cultures for fit and friction, and invoking opinions regarding how this will or will not “disrupt” somebody’s business.
Today, it’s seen as a significant investment to be sure, and one that will greatly increase both EMC’s portfolio and its value to customers and partners. But the billion-dollar-plus valuation barely raises an eyebrow, the Cloud-first nature of Virtustream’s business raises none, and there’s scant reference to any disruption resulting from the deal.
There have been other, similar, and fairly recent acquisitions of Cloud-first providers by traditional IT Master Brands. Cisco, Dell, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP and other major, influential, and mostly traditional IT brand names have all made similar or even larger investments/acquisitions since 2010. And several if not many of these deals have disrupted the acquirers and their customers and partners.
But we have passed a tipping point when the combination of billion-dollar deal size and Cloud-first nature of the deal are nothing more than somewhat noteworthy for a major, traditional IT firm. Cloud is now an expected and natural aspect of 10-figure IT vendor deals.
To paraphrase Saugatuck founder and CEO Bill McNee, we are well past the “Cloud Experiment” stage, and well into integrating Cloud into everyday business – regardless of whether we’re using, developing, or selling Cloud-based business IT. We’re living, breathing, and working Cloud everywhere all the time, which means that it’s getting harder to consider the Cloud-first nature of any business IT or provider as a disruptor in and of itself.
Which, to me, begs another question: What’s the next major IT business disruptor?