Following up on my comments on Microsoft OneCare, I'd be interested to
have you put on your wizard hats and tell me how the world is going to
view companies like Carbonite five years hence. One scenario is that
backup will be considered as part of the data security industry, and
will be merged into anti-virus, firewall, anti-spyware, and the like.
Another view is that backup will be one of a number of data
storage-related products, such as archiving, local backup, bare metal
restore, smart document storage, and so forth. A third scenario is that
backup is just such a big opportunity in itself (after all, there are
700 million Internet-connected PCs out there) that you can build a very
large company doing nothing but online backup.
The first scenario suggests that backup companies will eventually be
gobbled up by the anti-virus companies, just as Symantec acquired
Swapdrive (now part of the Norton 360 suite). The second scenario is
that backup is about storage, and the EMC acquisition of Mozy would
argue that direction. They are already making noises about bundling
backup with other storage products, such as Iomega. The third is that
none of these guys will have the focus to do a really exceptional job
at online backup, and well-funded pure-play companies like Carbonite
will build brand and distribution and a new category will emerge
dominated by pure-play vendors.
Anyone care to comment?