Capitalism depends on two principles — the law of supply and demand, and the ability of every customer to take his, her, or its business elsewhere (I include “its” because the Supreme Court has ruled that corporations are people too, but hasn’t commented on their gender).

Principle #2 is what makes IT an anti-capitalist domain: CIOs understand that when it comes to all but their most peripheral vendors, threats to take their business elsewhere are empty, because the switching cost is almost always high, and very rarely adds discernable business value.

Worse, switching costs increase in proportion to the level of integration, which is also a major driver of business value. It’s ironic — providing more business value circumvents capitalism.

Which brings us to Lync, SharePoint, and why Microsoft-driven capitalism circumvention might be in your future.