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5/10/2010
02:24 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
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Global CIO: Hewlett-Packard Attacks Innovation Gridlock That's Killing CIOs

CEOs are putting extreme pressure on CIOs because IT drives too much complexity and not enough innovation. HP says its broad new strategy can help.

"When you talk to CIOs, they're saying that if I have a great idea I go tell the CEO about how it'll pay itself back in three years and ask for the funding, there's just not much receptivity," Hogan said. "Instead, what CIOs need to do is find a way to self-fund and then incubate these new projects." HP's plan, he said, will do so with the following steps, the first three of which make the self-funding possible while the last three extend capabilities with new technologies and ideas.

a) Modernize the applications portfolio. "You inventory your apps and ask, 'How many of these do I really need?' " Hogan said. "Here at HP, we went from 7,000 to 2,000, and then we worked on taking those 2,000 and modernizing them to be more nimble and flexible."

b) Financing options. Many CIOs feel stuck with the legacy stuff they have but would like to unload, so HP's finance arm has developed plans to help HP's customers get those expensive items off the customers' balance sheets by reselling it, or by arranging a sale/leaseback plan.

c) Tech upgrades: HP says its new ProLiant servers can deliver ROI in two months due to their "20:1 or greater consolidation ratio [and] a 27 times performance-per-watt increase."

d) Cloud services: "We see a lot of promise around speed and more innovation from the cloud," Hogan said, "so we've announced stuff to help CIOs exploit the cloud-services delivery model that goes beyond HP. There are a bunch of vendors out there who are providing cloud services, and our portfolio helps customers go take advantage of all that with our tools and services." Called the HP Cloud Service Automation, this new offering "enables clients to architect their IT environments for change by accelerating the deployment and automated management of private and public cloud initiatives," HP said.

HP's going to making a lot of noise with these new plans and they have every right to do so because it's really the first comprehensive and customer-focused view that I've seen for how a major IT vendor can help customers take on and obliterate the 80/20 beast that has been tormenting them for so long.

"Over the past five years, HP has done a fabulous job of extending our capabilities in the enterprise with services via EDS, in software with Mercury and others, and now with 3Com in network and Palm in the mobile space, so our portfolio is now radically more robust and strong," Hogan said.

"And what we're doing now is a much better job of leveraging those assets in simple, cohesive package for our customers, and we're doing that by putting the focus on customer value instead of on point-by-point products."

I hope many other large and small IT vendors follow suit, because that quicksand's not going anywhere and there are a whole lot of very good CIOs in there who would love to get out. HP has taken a huge step forward in helping to make that happen.

Bob Evans is senior VP and director of InformationWeek's Global CIO unit.

To find out more about Bob Evans, please visit his page.

For more Global CIO perspectives, check out Global CIO, or write to Bob at bevans@techweb.com.

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