Amazon Web Services vs. IBM: Winning

IBM declared war on Amazon Web Services (AWS) after losing a bid to provide cloud-based services to the CIA that Amazon shouldn’t have been able to win. IBM, with the General Accounting Office (GAO) providing support, filed and lost an appeal largely because the judge appeared to feel that IBM’s offering wasn’t competitive.

Not surprisingly, IBM is moving aggressively to enhance their offering and started a marketing campaign to draw clear distinctions between itself and Amazon. Although both companies are exposed in this conflict, IBM is likely to win it, because the fight is on IBM’s turf where that company should have a significant advantage. Conversely, Amazon appears to be repeating a mistake made repeatedly by Netscape and Apple, among others, and history has been pretty solid on the adverse impact that results. Let’s consider this in greater detail.

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NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT Review.

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