Intel looking towards the future

 Intel modem chip Pictures, Images and Photos

Most of you have heard by now about Intel buying antivirus maker, McAfee. The security software developer is among the largest in the world and Intel is paying a pretty penny for it ($7.68 billion). In some ways security software is a related industry to Intel’s main business since they both focus on computers of various kinds. However, in other ways the two companies have nothing in common. Intel is the world leader computer chip maker and McAfee makes antivirus software. This is one of the main reasons why most experts are criticizing this deal.

Intel wants to integrate security which McAfee brings in to their chips from the beginning of the design process instead of an add-on to a computer. This will potentially make their product run faster and more securely. This is a good idea and acquiring McAfee should help them accomplish this. However, this is not the primary reason they chose to acquire McAfee. So what is you ask? The future. More specifically, mobile devices of all types such as smartphones, tablets and even cars.

As the technologies of mobile devices mature and become even more common place than they are today, Intel believes security will become an issue. As smartphones, tablets and cars become more connected to the internet and more dependent on the internet, viruses and malicious software can wreak havoc on them and on the people that rely on them. Imagine a future where we rely on our internet connected car to drive itself. This may come (to a limited extent) in the next 15-20 years or so; don’t think it is something out of Star Trek or something. Now imagine a virus/hacker takes over the car’s computer through the internet just like it sometimes can with a PC and redirects the car to drive in to a wall. You probably would wish you had an antivirus for your car at that point. Well, that is what Intel is banking on.

Many people are saying that there are no serious threats for mobile devices right now and this is a big gamble that can fail badly. This is true, but Intel seems very confident that the future will bring security issues for devices. Whether they are right or the critics are right will only be known in the future when it happens or doesn’t happen. However, it is this type of forward thinking and vision that can take companies to a new level of success. Intel is already among the largest tech companies in the world so success for them is a relative term, but the lesson is the same. Entrepreneurs that become wildly successful often do this by having the same type of forward thinking and risk taking. This business case is a lesson in how to think for all business people, even if Intel ends up being wrong.