The concept of cloud computing; where dynamically scalable, reliable, manageable IT resources are made available over the network as a service, has a strong possibility of making vast changes in the competitive environment. We've already seen alliances between suppliers of hardware, software or services and suppliers of hosting or managed services.
We're also seeing virtualization technology allowing a suppliers to take a fresh look at how computers are organized and then begin offering products based upon a different combination of features.
Aren't we also seeing suppliers attempting to re-implement a mainframe environment in software?
I'm reminded of a colleague's "buzz word generator." He developed three word lists on a piece of paper and asked me to select one word from each column. The results, he would point out, would be as good as any industry buzz word or catch phrase. He was suggesting that I use this technique to develop my own catch phrases.
What we're beginning to see now is something quite similar - suppliers are getting together to mix and match technologies.
What combinations do you think are viable? Let's see a blade computer combined with virtual machine software, management software for virtualized environments, storage virtualization technology and a really nice cappuccino machine. We could call it Java virtualization. Wait, I think that one is already taken.