Apple is a consumer company and IBM is an enterprise company.
Cloud computing model now does not allow companies anymore which try forced customers to buy new product versions every time the company wants. For example Microsoft tries to forces consumers new versions of word every time they come up with a new release.
Now companies are trying to move towards cloud computing like Microsoft online and Google online instead of trying to makes sales only by selling new versions of their software. A consequence of the cloud model is that profit margins are decreasing. A traditional product which consumer was forced to buy for 100’s of dollars now in cloud computing is cheap and easily available to consumers. Cloud subscriptions are easy now.
An example of this shift can be seen in adobe products which allows consumers now to allow to use their product line for small amount per month as opposed to spending hundreds of dollars to buy the whole adobe suite.
Now no company can try to focus on one end of the market instead in order to survive in this new cloud computing companies need to be able to work on multiple ends of the market and provide cloud services rather then traditional services.
It is now a network market. Like apple does not makes it sales only by selling computers only instead they are not providing multiple smaller components like they now make money by providing iTunes cards, providing additional paid apps in addition to stock applications, developers can make money by selling applications but even in that they say that we want cut from applications you are selling in our app store, developers/publishers can make money by creating books in apple platform for their iBooks application present in their mobile devices, they provide also iTunesU courses/content and all these services apple are providing are more or less integrated with cloud computing i.e. we can enable your book through our cloud service iCloud or consumer can upload their documents through iCloud.
If we make a apple cloud then there are multiple markets, multiple ends, many type of focus are available in the apple cloud. Apple is not focusing on one type of work instead it is trying to branch into multiple areas through cloud computing. This is known as two-sided or n-sided networks as there is no end to this network or one focus to these networks instead it spans multiple areas.
IBM used to say that in enterprise if you want to do business with us this is the contract worth millions/billions of dollars if you want to use our services which can’t work now in the shift to cloud computing. They tried to negotiate contracts like this as stated above instead of trying to market their products to consumers to buy them.
All these models stated above will start coming into cloud computing. The nature of cloud computing is that enterprise can be involved directly or indirectly in cloud. Same is the case of consumer market which can be involved directly or indirectly with cloud computing.
Data nature is similar. Some data is company data, some is public data, some data is coming from different sources from outside of cloud and some is social network data. Not all data is related to enterprises. Some data is related to where/what is inventory right now, what is our shares information, what are the financial of the company, sales data.
There are two aspects of cloud computing. For example Microsoft is not a strong position in terms of shares whereas Apple and Google shares is doing very good right now. That being said the good thing about Microsoft is that their enterprise presence and consumer presence is integrable as their cloud technology is intermixed, their technology is intermixed as well. One example of this is that while working in Visual Studio you can developer for their cloud, web platforms, mobile platform, desktop environment and enterprise in a centralized way. Another example is with their Xbox xna which is now starting to overlap with .NET and their is more overlap to come in the future between the xna and .NET. (Note: Xbox xna and .NET overlap needs to be validated first). This will mean that experience on web, mobile and television will start to merge and overlap more and more. This overlap means that there will be more commonality between the different platforms and they will start to be integrated tightly with each other to give a more pleasurable whole experience for a consumer.
Apple right now is not in a position to enter the enterprise market. Their goverance or distribution model is not good enough for enterprise right now. An example is you have multiple computer connected in a organization then you can set the update policy or software updates which can be activated on multiple computers in an organization but that is not possible in Apple as you have to manage the updates or software yourself. Apple is a good desktop computer for consumer use but Apple does not do the updates/software itself and you have to manage that yourself. There distribution, ibooks and application distribution follows the same pattern. For example there can only be admin for whole organization/entity which is not feasible for an organization with thousands of people. A single admin can’t handle the whole organization/entity where the size of the organization matters.
IBM once had a lot of products like lotus which were niche and were better than sharepoint for that matter but know IBM does not the same market and focus as they once had related to enterprise. They were strong once but know in the cloud era they so far have not showed any sign of adoption to new demands. One of the reason their products like lotus had disappeared more or less is because IBM model for marketing is different and they ask to make deals worth millions instead of trying to sell individual low cost products to consumers. They use to survive in the past because their contracts used to be lengthy and they had service contracts were eloborate enough but now as the model has diluted and cloud has come and there is less and less demand for hundred of dollars of products now the model for cloud is subscription based low cost. IBM will have to come into the cloud market somehow and another concern is how exactly they will enter this market with innovative companies like Apple and Google as they are right now earning a lot based on their shares. People right now are interested in innovative companies because of their thought process. So IBM will now have to evaluate if they can survive without this consumer market or not.