EXECUTIVES AT ASCENDANT tech titans like Amazon and Google tend to look down on their predecessor IBM.
The fading giant of Armonk, New York, once sustained itself inventing and selling cutting-edge technology, but now leans heavily on consulting. Renting out people to help other companies with tech projects is a messier and less scalable business than selling computing power on a distant cloud server, and leaving the customer to do the grunt work.
Yet as Amazon and Google seek greater riches by infusing the world with artificial intelligence, they’ve started their own consulting operations, lending out some of their prized AI talent to customers. The reason: Those other businesses lack the expertise to take advantage of techniques such as machine learning.
Many companies use cloud platforms for tasks like data storage or powering websites and mobile apps.