The growth of cloud computing and other emerging technology trends are changing corporate business models, according to general partner of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz Peter Levine.
Levine contends that the growing focus of software-based technology is changing the way companies plan for growth. Taking part in a panel at BoxWorks 2012 about the growing trends in Silicon Valley Levine said that he believes that better hardware no longer means better growth.
"Microsoft needs a wake up call. Cisco needs a wake up call," Levine said during the panel discussion which featured a diverse group of Silicon Valley venture capitalists.
"They have already been woken up but what can they now do?"
With the growing trend of the cloud and the software-as-a-service (SaaS) industries, many former goliaths of the technology industry have to rethink the way they do business, he added.
Levine says that enterprise consumers no longer want to pay the capital necessary to work with their own storage infrastructure, they want to be able to pass off those functions to cloud providers.
"Start-ups don't need to invest in their own computing [infrastructure] because of cloud computing," Levine continued.
The general partner at Andreessen Horowitz argued the change in consumer preference now requires technology providers to adopt new services.
Companies like EMChave seen the preference shift and focused on changing how it does business, he added.
"EMC started out as a hardware company and then made these acquisitions," Levine said.
"They made this great transition from crusty old hardware to [the cloud]."
Fellow panelist Mamoon Hamid, a general partner at venture capital firm Social Capital Partnership, said Microsoft was showing signs it had grasped the importance of changing.
"That was a brilliant move by Microsoft to acquire Yammer," Hamid said during the panel discussion.
"It was a type of software that Microsoft was missing."
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