What 451 Research surveys have found is high demand for new types of infrastructure software, Cote added.
"I was just looking at our most recent cloud survey and the hottest technology category in demand and for planned use is automated server provisioning," he said. "What used to be a sleepy corner of systems management is now of intense interest to the market. I think this is because companies are looking to rejigger how they run IT, which puts [HP Enterprise] in a good position if they can position their portfolio well."
Mueller doesn't expect HP to dive into the enterprise applications market directly, either. "Partnerships with SAP and Oracle and Salesforce.com, yes, run applications on their cloud, yes," he said. Whitman needs to focus on HP's plays in IaaS (infrastructure as a service) and PaaS (platform as a service) first and foremost, Mueller added.
The wrong move?
HP has made a significant misstep, according to analyst Ray Wang, chairman and founder of Constellation Research. "The challenge is, the pendulum is shifted to software-embedded hardware and HP is breaking the company up in two just as this is happening," he said.
"They lose supply chain synergies, R&D synergies, and a lot of good intellectual property," Wang added. "The startups being funded are in embedded devices and systems. Now is not the time to break up. They can shed assets but taking the two apart is a bad idea for HP overall."
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