Research Paper: HP Secures a Place in the Cloud

Pages: 5 (1476 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Business  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] More than a decade ago, the competitive environment signaled movement away from mainframe computers and toward blade servers and virtualized storage. Accordingly, HP acquired a networking equipment producer in 3 Com for nearly $3 billion dollars, and acquired AppIQ for storage management: moves that dovetailed with the growth strategy for the HP Technology Systems Group. According to industry sources, HP has plans for more acquisitions in the infrastructure software arena, which would likely include security software companies, storage software makers, and software companies that serve the blade server market (Makri, 2012). HP's Imaging & Printing Group will likely continue with the long-term plan to develop commercial printers.

Consumers increasingly expect the companies they deal with to conduct business in a socially conscious manner. The technology sector has been notoriously cavalier about sourcing precious metals. Many firms buy raw materials sourced from mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where atrocities have become part of doing business and armed groups "earn some $185 million a year by controlling access to more than half the mines and collecting bribes and illicit taxes along trade routes" (Zax, 2013). Many components of computers, laptops, video game consoles, and smartphones are made from the critically important industrial components known as the "3 T's" -- tantalum, tin, and tungsten. Tantalum is used to store electric energy, tin is used for solder, and tungsten makes certain units vibrate. From May 31, 2014, forward, a regulation that is a bi-partisan amendment to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act will compel electronic firms to inform the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) if their products contain conflict minerals from mines controlled by renegade army units and rebel militias in the Congo. Both IBM and HP joined other companies in the sector to finance a fund to help smelters of precious metals used in the production of electronics to conduct the complex audits that are needed to verify that their source ores come from legitimate sources that are conflict free (Zax, 2013). To date, it appears that Cisco has not joined the fundraising effort, although Cisco -- along with IBM ad HP and hundreds of other companies -- have joined the coalition formed in 2010 to help "establish the Conflict-Free Smelter Program, whose members agree not to accept metals from mines that are controlled by armed groups" (Zax, 2013). The high number of firms joining this coalition is an indicator of the influence of industry watchdogs and consumer sentiment on the business practices of companies in the market today. In this arena, IBM and HP appear to be neck-and-neck. Further efforts to stand out in this crowd by standing up for human rights will help to HP to be seen as an accountable business -- a strong competitive advantage in this market, and, ostensibly, over the long-term.

Industries in the technology sector conduct business in fast-cycle markets. Slow-cycle markets are those in which the competitive advantages of firms are protected or shielded from competition by government regulations and the like. A slow-cycle market can easily approach monopolistic conditions. Fast-cycle markets are those in which the competitive advantages of companies are not shielded from imitation: indeed, they are completely exposed in a market environment where competitive advantages cannot be sustained for a long period of time. This means that fast-cycle markets are complex, unpredictable, and fundamentally unstable. If, perhaps, the technology sector functioned in a slow-cycle market, then HP's most threatening competitor might very well be the firm with the most business in the government sector where change can be substantially slowed by political forces rather than market forces. In this scenario, IBM -- or any of the other major players in the diversified computing services industry with an eye toward securing government contracts -- could well surge ahead of HP.

References

Hitt, M.A., Ireland, R.D., & Hoskisson, R.E. (2013). Strategic management: Concept and cases: Competiveness and globalization (10thed.). Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.

Makri, M., Hitt, M.A., & Lane, P.J. (2012, July 21). Complementary Technologies, Knowledge Relatedness, and Invention Outcomes in High Technology Mergers and Acquisitions. Business and Technology Review. Retrieved http://strategyseminar.blogspot.com/2012/07/business-and-technology-review-of.html

Zax, D. (2013. Conflicts don't build character -- they reveal its true nature. Smithsonian Magazine, October, 13-14.

____. (2014). Conflict Free Smelter Program. Retreived… [END OF PREVIEW]

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HP Secures a Place in the Cloud.  (2014, August 5).  Retrieved June 18, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/hp-secures-place-cloud/9748233

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"HP Secures a Place in the Cloud."  5 August 2014.  Web.  18 June 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/hp-secures-place-cloud/9748233>.

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"HP Secures a Place in the Cloud."  Essaytown.com.  August 5, 2014.  Accessed June 18, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/hp-secures-place-cloud/9748233.