TBR 2020 Data Center Predictions: Hardware commoditization pushes vendors into new ventures

Hardware commoditization is pressuring traditional data center vendors to invest in related emerging technologies

The data center hardware market has been on a downward trend due to commoditization for years. As a result, vendors have had to get creative to maintain their financial performance. Some vendors that have not adjusted have been forced out of highly contested markets or had assets or whole organizations acquired. However, many vendors have adjusted by investing in new ventures to maintain hardware relevance. Non-volatile memory express (NVMe) and hyperconverged infrastructure are two examples of technologies that have upward potential in the declining hardware market.

Other vendors have chosen to explore entirely new areas, such as quantum computing, to maintain relevance. IBM is notorious for laying the tracks to new markets, and quantum is no exception. TBR believes IBM’s quantum computing investments might increase the longevity of the mainframe, as we see a future in which mainframes and quantum computers can work together to answer tough computational questions. IBM is also investing in high-performance computing, another technology that could fill this space for mainframes.

Change is the only thing in the data center market that is guaranteed. TBR believes 2020 will be marked by a lot of change, and vendors will either adapt or be left behind. Consumption-based pricing and quantum computing are just two examples of the types of change that are coming to the data center space, but there are many others still to come. Vendors that embrace change will be around for the long haul, and fast-followers are more and more likely to be left behind if they sacrifice research and development for quick returns for their capital investors. Vendors should encourage innovation around new ideas to maintain relevance while commoditization maintains its unrelenting grip on the data center hardware space.

2020 Predictions:

  • Cloud vs. on premises: A distinction without a difference
  • The rise of quantum services vendors
  • ODMs will progressively squeeze OEMs as cloud-centric data center environments become increasingly popular

Register for TBR’s 2020 Data Center Predictions webinar, Hardware Commoditization Pushes Vendors Into New Ventures, Jan. 15, 2020.

Technology Business Research 2020 Predictions is a special series examining market trends and business changes in key markets. Covered segments include telecom, cloud, devices & commercial IoT, data center, and services.

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