To your average hardware retailer or small-scale reseller, the long-term aspirations of Microsoft might seem a million miles away from your business (see our story on Microsoft's cloud push here).
I can totally understand why the cloud might seem like so much pie in the sky, so to speak, spurred on by Silicon Valley rhetoric and analysts looking for the next disruptive technology to get in a flap about.
If you’re a small dealer quietly making a living from IT hardware, this brave new world of computing, where the emphasis dramatically shifts away from in-house hardware to off-site servers (pardon the dramatic simplification) might not even sound like a boat you want to get on.
But this industry has a tendency to reinvent itself. Often. We’re not in the construction industry, or the bike industry. In information technology things move fast, usually led from the top by companies like Microsoft, Apple or Google.
And maybe there isn’t a huge public awareness of what the cloud is just yet. But was there a strong consumer demand for tablets two or three years ago? No – and yet at this year’s CES you couldn’t move for tablet launches. And it’s not just about the Apple factor, as many argue. Take a look at our sector guide on tablets to see just how widespread the sector has become.
The point is, when these massive great multi-national conglomerates really get behind something, it moves. If the demand grows as much as they think it will, and the tech giants are behind the wheel pushing it, it would be fortuitous to be ready for when the tide shifts.