Yesterday, Symantec announced that it too was ordering up a bowl of the organizational strategy du jour and splitting itself into two independent, publicly traded companies, one focusing on security and the other on information management.
I have doubts whether simply splitting in two can spark innovation after nine years of gobbling up gargantuan (I still miss you, Veritas) and small vendors alike with little to show for it but operational indigestion. But I suppose anything is better than changing CEOs as frequently as I change the oil in my car and standing by and watching CISOs turn to completely new security brands as their trusted advisor. And there is this little matter of how mobile, social, cloud, and big data are completely transforming not only the way digital businesses compete and serve their customers but how technology vendors themselves deliver their own solutions and engage with their clients — and Symantec isn't leading the charge in any of those market shifts.
My team will have more detailed analysis on the split in the coming days, but I'm interested in your thoughts. I believe that it really can't get any worse for Symantec on an execution side. They have acquired a lot of really strong products over the years but completely failed to integrate, market, and sell them. This isn't a function of buying bad companies / technologies, but instead a direct function of the inability to execute on a broad vision. This split can't possibly make it worse and should eventually make it better if Symantec can fix their execution woes in a smaller, more focused environment. But if they fail to innovate as a smaller company, they will have no chance competing against vendors with much broader portfolios like EMC, IBM, HP, Cisco, Intel Security etc. who can sell not just to the CISO but at the CIO level as well.