There are three key ways to determine commitment:
When Cisco tried consumer products it was an area outside of its expertise and it was likely to and did pull back after they made the anticipated mistakes.
HP's CEO is has been solidly focused on quarterly returns and came out of Bane Capital, suggesting she would be more interested in cutting and downsizing, so commitments from her would have limited value.
Finally, Google has the attention span of a 4-year-old and loses focus quickly, suggesting anything beyond search is unlikely to be continued unless it accidentally becomes massively successful. In the case of Google Glass, it looks like the cost is exceeding the benefit for Google.
Peek Beneath the Covers
If you don't want to be blindsided by a vendor pulling support from a critical product or commitment, look underneath the covers. If the effort looks more like a hobby, if the CEO can't be trusted because he is driven by external factors (or is clearly out of touch), or if the effort is in the red, there is a high likelihood you'll be left by the vendor holding its now unwanted child. Look beyond the sales force, who is likely the last to know, and make sure a vendor's unwanted child doesn't unexpectedly become your problem.
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