Global CIO: An Open Letter To HP CEO Leo Apotheker - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Government // Enterprise Architecture
Commentary
10/1/2010
11:32 AM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Commentary
50%
50%

Global CIO: An Open Letter To HP CEO Leo Apotheker

The IT industry and its customers are changing in profound ways. As you take the helm of the world's largest IT company, here are a few suggestions.

Your responsibility was to keep making the types of big, transaction-oriented, and expensive software that SAP had always made, and the customers' job was to keep buying that big, transaction-oriented, and expensive software that SAP had always made, whether or not all that stuff was delivering value to those customers. (See Global CIO: SAP's Last Chance: It's The Customers, Stupid!.)

HP faces a bit of that challenge now: it has arguably the broadest product line of any IT company, and HP executives regularly describe how its massive supply chain gives HP incomparable purchasing leverage and how that, therefore, confers on HP strategic advantage. And I guess it does--as long as customers continue to buy the way they used to buy.

But what if some of those challenges mentioned above shift? What if customers place more knowledge on value and knowledge and speed-to-market and opportunism than on low-cost hardware—will you still have that competitive advantage? When HP customers say to you, "Leo, I need you to help me build a real-time enterprise centered on industry-leading capabilities in predictive analytics"—will your big honkin' supply chain meet that challenge?

And that brings us to your second primary challenge: competition. As the CEO of HP, your competitors are now not just Oracle and Larry Ellison, but Oracle and Larry Ellison and Mark Hurd (who knows a thing or two about HP), and IBM and Sam Palmisano, and Google and Erich Schmidt, and Amazon.com and Jeff Bezos, and ultimately Apple and Steve Jobs.

How will you rally your team to confront and overcome those challenges? How will you fight simultaneous massive battles on far-flung fronts against competitors who only have to do one or two things superbly all the time, whereas you and HP, by virtue of your scale and scope, have to do many different types of things superbly without a hitch?

For the answers, I'd suggest you look to your customers. Understand not just what they want today but what they'll need in three years, and then reorganize HP around customer-driven solutions rather than around product lines that those customers might—or might not—want in a few years.

Create the HP Center For Customer Value, representing your promise to deliver to your global customers not just hardware and software and services but enduring knowledge, insights, and best practices.

Compete on your ability to help big enterprises transform their IT organizations in the way your superb CIO, Randy Mott, has done with HP's—it's a feat unmatched by any CIO and any IT organization. Your company's already done, Leo, what most other big companies in the world are desperate to do—teach the world how to do it.

As for the "where's the HP smartphone?" canard, forget that tactical junk and make the leap past mobile to mobile-social—tie that in with transformation, innovation, and enduring value for your customers based on giving them the tools to engage with and deliver value to their customers in ways no other IT company can. On this subject: have you spent much time with your R&D leader, Prith Banerjee? You might think about turning him and his team and his set of uniquely brilliant skills loose on this spectacular opportunity.

Well, you've got lots to do and I've taken up enough of your time. Good luck, Leo, and don't forget that the customers are like the head: where the customers go, the body will follow.

Cheers,

Bob

RECOMMENDED READING:

Global CIO: HP CEO Apotheker Has Deep Expertise But Checkered History

Global CIO: HP's $130-Billion Gamble

Global CIO: An Open Letter To SAP CEO Leo Apotheker

Global CIO: An Open Letter To SAP Chairman Hasso Plattner

Global CIO: SAP's Last Chance: It's The Customers, Stupid!

Global CIO: Hewlett-Packard's New CEO: The Top 10 Challenges

HP Pressure-Cooker: The Top 5 Priorities For Tuesday's Call

GlobalCIO 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 [email protected].

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Previous
2 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Slideshows
Data Science: How the Pandemic Has Affected 10 Popular Jobs
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  9/9/2020
Commentary
The Growing Security Priority for DevOps and Cloud Migration
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  9/3/2020
Commentary
Dark Side of AI: How to Make Artificial Intelligence Trustworthy
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  9/15/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
IT Automation Transforms Network Management
In this special report we will examine the layers of automation and orchestration in IT operations, and how they can provide high availability and greater scale for modern applications and business demands.
Slideshows
Flash Poll