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Microsoft Falls to Third in Tech Company Rankings; IBM Tops List

Microsoft has slipped behind IBM and Oracle to take the No. 3 position in Booz & Co.'s second-annual list of the world's top technology companies.

The list, announced last week, ranked 50 companies spanning four disparate sectors: hardware, IT services, software and telecommunications. While the 50 companies differed quite a bit, all worked to foster the sort of digital technologies that businesses are adopting or will soon adopt, according to the study. The study's aim was to highlight those information, communications and technology (ICT) companies that are leading the way.

Microsoft was No. 1 in Booz & Co.'s 2012 study of ICT companies. However, in the 2013 study, Microsoft slipped to third place behind IBM and Oracle. Google greatly improved in the 2013 study, moving from 32nd place in the 2012 study to eighth place in the 2013 study. Samsung moved up into the No. 10 spot. Amazon was a new addition to the 2013 study, becoming the 13th most valuable ICT company.

Company 2013 Rank 2012 Rank
IBM 1 3
Oracle 2 2
Microsoft 3 1
SAP 4 7
Cisco Systems 5 5
Apple 6 6
Hewlett-Packard 7 4
Google 8 32
Accenture 9 9
Samsung 10 36
TCS 11 24
Infosys 12 14
Amazon 13 (new to list) N/A
Adobe 14 20
Atos 15 31
Ericsson 16 12
Fujitsu 17 26
HCL 18 13
Cognizant 19 28
Dell 20 15

The Top 20 Global ICT Companies, 2012 vs. 2013. Source: Booz & Co.

The study based its rankings on a company's financial performance, portfolio strength, "go-to-market footprint," and innovation and branding. It omitted the hard data used to reach its conclusions. The report described Microsoft as being a "network infrastructure platform player" but it is also "a third-party consolidator" that is "betting its future on its ability to innovate."

"This is a very diverse way to play, with a risk of incoherence, and it's still not clear whether Microsoft can manage all this in the long run, even with its enormous platform advantage," the report states.

Even though the companies in Booz & Co.'s rankings are fairly different, they are "all beginning to come together as the hardware, software, IT services, and telecom sectors converge," the report contended. The report envisions a "battle of the ecosystems" happening in the hardware and software sectors that's focused either on the end user or on solutions for the enterprise. Meanwhile, the telecom sector will "continue to stagnate" because of the investments required for their networks, geographic constraints and "cultural challenges" in innovating.

The 18-page report, "Builders of the Digital Ecosystem: Booz & Company Global Information, Communications, and Technology 50 Study," can be downloaded here (requires registration).

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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