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INSEAD Working Paper 2015/02/STR
Resource obsolescence through competition from converging technologies is quickly becoming a more urgent problem for sustaining competitive advantage than resource imitation. Not only can it make a firm’s resources obsolete or too costly to be competitive, it may also bring about shifts of power in the supply chain or eco-system that further undermine the competitive position of the targeted firm. This paper analyzes these dynamics and challenges with the situation that IBM is facing in the super computing (or high performance computing) hardware segment and the onslaught of their software / IT business due to cloud providers such as Google and Amazon, and also from much smaller new competitors such as Norwegian Cegal which focuses its cloud services in the oil and gas sector.