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DIVIDE AND CONQUER: SYMANTEC’S DECISION TO SPLIT

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The news is out; Symantec has decided to split itself into two smaller companies. 2014 seems to be the year of fracturing companies as Hewlett-Packard and eBay have already made the same decision a few weeks prior to Symantec’s decision.

The announcement was made in October by Michael Brown, the CEO and President of Symantec. The split will create two new organizations; one that will deal solely with data storage and one that will focus on security programs.   Symantec helped pioneer anti-hacking techniques and is the creator of the Norton antivirus software. However, it found itself struggling the maintain growth as PC sales dropped and it lost pace in the security and storage industries. By deciding to take the initiative to break the company up, Symantec is hoping to become more agile, focused and drive growth as a result. The transition is expected to be finalized by the end of 2015.   The separation of the security and storage businesses of Symantec may also spark interest in some larger companies like EMC and Hewlett-Packard that are interested in acquiring stand-alone security or storage businesses.

"It has become clear that winning in both security and information management requires distinct strategies, focused investments and go-to market innovation. Separating Symantec into two, independent publicly traded companies will provide each business the flexibility and focus to drive growth and enhance shareholder value." - Michael Brown, CEO

Not only is a decision like this financially smart but it has a huge technical advantage for consumers and customers. It has long been obvious that Symantec’s two areas of business weren’t compatible. The data security and storage industries lack overlapping areas and require very different skill sets. But by dividing the company, the two new organizations can focus their resources on the technology within their own spheres, allowing for more innovation and better products and support.   There might be another benefit to the split as well. Before being acquired by Symantec in 2005, Veritas was an industry leader and was considered the best in the business. However, Symantec was unable to give it the focus and drive it needed to continue to strive in its industry. As a result, its products began to lose market share value. This new division will allow it a chance to start rebuilding itself to its former glory. In time, the world might see the high standard industry leading products it had been seeing before the acquisition.   Choosing to divide and conquer was the best choice Symantec could have made facing the declining rate of PC sales and lack of internal focus on its two businesses. The tech world will surely find a new influx of innovation products in both the storage and security world.

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