Which companies do you feel are the dominant players in the technology industry? Are they the names that have dominated for years, like Cisco, the newly merged Dell (plus EMC), the recently split HP, Inc. and HPE, IBM, Microsoft, or Oracle? Is it one of the newer cloud titans like AWS, Google, IBM, or Microsoft? Will cloud demolish the tech industry as we know it? Don't get lured into the hyperbole in the market, but do inform yourself about the realities. As with all things in business, follow the money to find the truth. That's what we do every day to seek answers to the big questions in Business Technology.

"Evolve or Crumble" is one of the most important things you will read this year!

The technology vendor landscape is in the midst of great change … again! The powerhouses of technology are under assault by new and transforming players. My colleagues Sophia Vargas and Richard Fichera recently published a report that should be mandatory reading by everyone in the technology world! You may not agree with their points, but they painstakingly vetted the data and premise with fellow thought leaders within and outside of Forrester. The evidence is compelling. The Evolve Or Crumble: Prepare For The Fate Of The Hardware Incumbents report will make you think and prepare you to make what may be difficult, but necessary decisions about your own future!

Writing something like this takes guts. I applaud Sophia, Rich, and the many credited and uncredited people who brought this to publication! They've made some people angry, but we are in the business of telling the truth. Sometimes the truth isn't pretty (as I realize every time I look in a mirror!), but you deserve the unvarnished perspective that determines your own future. We don't seek to irritate anyone, however I've learned that when you speak the truth, sombody is going to hate it. We accept that responsibility in our quest to serve you.

If you are an enterprise technology consumer:

You are spending heavily on technology that may not be helping your business win, serve, and retain customers. You have to easily prove your tech investments give your company's customers a superior experience and therefore, give your business a competitive advantage. Much of the technology does not. It's probably not even the core technology that's holding you back. It is likely how you design, deliver, and manage that technology.

Examine your options and choose the right solutions. Manage your tech vendors differently. Whereas you once had a strategic partner in one of the tech giants, that is rarely a plausible scenario now. Vendor management will become a more important dimension of your business technology agenda. "Evolve or Crumble" should put you in the right mindset to think deeper about your vendor choices.

If you are a technology provider:

Heed the signals that are telling you to evolve. If you ignore them, you are doomed. Evolving takes courage because your future may require you to dismantle products and customer bases that made your company great. Someone is going to disrupt you – guaranteed. It should be you! Self-disruption is immensely difficult, but it sure beats having some startup take you out before you can even see them coming. I remember dominant tech companies like Digital/DEC, Sun Microsystems, and countless others that were destroyed by competitors, but even more so by their refusal to disrupt themselves. Don't be the next DEC!

Are we right?

We think so, but you be the judge. Read the report and let's have a (civil) dialog about this important subject. Engage Sophia, Rich, and others at Forrester to help. As we collectively dig into this, I assure you the polarized positions will emphatically make their cases. As always, the truth will be somewhere between those extreme views. The world is going to cloud services in a big way, but not entirely. The challenge for us all is to find that Goldilocks point – not too little, not too much, but just right. If you find your Goldilocks balance and manage it as it evolves, you will win overwhelmingly in your Business Technology quest!