What eBay and other tech splits say about the future of cloud computing

Fortune

Few words raise more consternation than ‘this time is different.’ Yet in the world of enterprise tech today, times are different — and they are likely to stay that way for a while.

It’s not everyday that $100-plus billion companies split themselves in two. Recall late last month, eBay’s decided to spin off its fast-growing payments division, PayPal; last week, Hewlett-Packard [fortune-stock symbol=”HP”] moved to separate its PC and printer divisions off from its enterprise hardware and service groups. And most recently, Symantec’s potential split into security and data storage.

On the other end, we just witnessed the largest acquisition in the history of cloud computing — where one of the largest software companies in the world, SAP [fortune-stock symbol=”SAP”], is buying Concur, a provider of on-demand travel and expense management software-as-a-service, for $8.3 billion.

Beyond the question of what these tech companies are worth, it’s important to ask…

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