One Throat to Choke Will Choke Them

So corporate IT has finally gotten what they asked for — one throat to choke. With the acquisition of BEA, Oracle has taken out its last other smaller but major competitor leaving SAP and Oracle to battle it out. Corporate IT has made it so difficult for startups that they are now going to get their just desserts — very slow to innovate, plodding technology delivered through a relatively unresponsive sales and support channel.

So if anyone had a doubt about how IT is a commodity, the consolidation of the industry confirms this resoundingly. BEA was known for its engineering prowess and willingness to blaze tech trails that Oracle and SAP sought to catch up with poorly, as evidence by the clamor of BEA customers to have Oracle acquire BEA.

Innovation in this industry is going to look like the innovation of the Big Three in the automotive sector (or should I say big 1.5?). The best cars come from elsewhere, both in terms of quality and reliability because the pressure to innovate really didn’t exist once the consolidation took place. Cars took years to design and build. Their quality was poor and we customers suffered until an outsider (e.g. Japan) became the upstart that now leads in market share growth and innovation. (If you doubt this, test drive a Prius. At 50 mpg, its a phenomenal blend of technology and customer attentiveness.)

But this is old news. What is clearly the case now, is that the consolidation of the Enterprise IT space profits the bankers and the stockholders of the acquired companies, but will not benefit the enterprise IT organization. In fact, it will choke them as Enterprise IT has effectively choked off enterprise innovation.

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