Use Enterprise 2020 to do your IT planning

I worked in HP Software business planning for three years. And I observed that, in very broad terms, there were two different approaches to planning. The first was to look at what we had today and adjust, cutting back on some projects, leaving some alone and boosting others. The second approach was to jump to the future and work backwards from there, using the future state to decide what would fade away and what would grow. 

 

The advantage of the "jump to the future and work backwards" approach is that it means you are less likely to miss trends that might creep up on you. It allows you to "skate to where the puck will be", to use a sporting analogy.

 

HP Software recently ran a training event in Prague for its entire European field organisation.  We on the Enterprise 2020 team were asked to "do a piece of Enterprise 2020 theatre to show how Enterprise 2020 can be used with customers". 

 

Prague session.jpg

 

Those who have attended HP Software Universe in Europe in the past will know all about the "Full Throttle Company". Full Throttle is the invention of HP Software's European CTO, Ulli Pfeiffer. Full Throttle makes cool motorbikes; an obsession of Ulli's and, it seems to me, an excuse for Ulli to ride beautiful, throbbing motorbikes onto the HP Universe main stage at the start of an extravagant Full Throttle-based demo scenario.

 

In order to create the Enterprise 2020 theatre for our European field meeting, Ulli, myself and the team decided to act out an "Enterprise 2020-based planning session" at the Full Throttle Company. We tried to figure out what the world of motorbikes would like for the Full Throttle Company in 2020 and using this vision, work out what technology IT would therefore need to provide to the business to support this future business state.  

 

So, rather than talk about Enterprise 2020-based IT planning in abstract terms, I thought I would recount the conclusions we came to for the Full Throttle Company. (Picture : Martin Pettitt). 

 

cool bike.jpg

 

Future Business State

Full Throttle makes bikes. Expensive, petrol-consuming, large bikes. The world is "going green", with most mainstream car manufacturers investing heavily in electric vehicle technology. Full Throttle must follow suit. They must start to work on electric motorbikes. 

 

Applications

Full Throttle realised that the e-bike of the future would contain much more software than their bikes of today do. Software to control not just the bike, but also to offer apps to the rider, much like we're already seeing in cars. 

 

The Full Throttle CIO, Ulli Pfeiffer, realised that he must embrace this "smart devices" trend. He needs to gear up his department to create much more software for Full Throttle's bikes.

 

Full Throttle also believes that in future, "applications would become a competitive weapon" - the better a company's e-bikie control software, the better the bike; the better the apps for bike users, the better the bike; the better the integration between the bike's apps and tablets and smartphones "the better the bike".  

 

If apps are a competitive weapon, then competitors are going to be changing them a lot faster. Full Throttle therefore needs to start looking at "continuous deployment / DevOps" technology and methodologies.

 

ulrich_pfeiffer_110x140.jpgAnd finally, Full Throttle realised that the e-bike of the future would be "connected" - it would be able to "phone home", exchanging data with applications that provided a safer, more efficient and better driving experience. Full Throttle has no experience of this "mobile smart device" computing model.

 

And so the Full Throttle CIO decided to invest in ..

  • Smart devices : creating applications for e-bikes and installing and managing these applications
  • DevOps / Continuous Deployment - the ability to release software much more quickly than they do today. The goal was one release per application every two weeks.
  • Mobile smart device technology - the ability for the smart apps on the e-bikes to "phone home" to applications that help the bike, its rider and those maintaining it

Information

In HP Software, we talk about how our solutions help customers get from "Ideas to Outcomes".  Full Throttle realised that information collection and analysis was a key component of making this "Ideas to Outcome" closed loop as fast and efficient as possible.

 

Specifically, they believed that information would help them both generate new ideas and maximise the outcomes of the ideas that they had made real.

 

Breaking "information" down, they believed they would need …

 

Analysis of social media : The ability to generate meaning from social media. Bikes have a very high fashion content - if you lose your "cool", it becomes hard to set the premium prices that Full Throttle was used to charging. In fact, a simple sentiment analysis pilot scared them. They found that they were seen as old-fashioned and "gas guzzling". Social media is also typically a "leading indicator" of troubles (or success) which will later appear in your structured, "system of record", sales data. 

 

Big Data : The ability to store and analyse "micro-transactions". Today, lots of transaction information in the world is thrown away. For example, the detailed information from bike maintenance is thrown away once the user accepts the maintenance work. Full Throttle realised that if they could keep all these maintenance "micro-transactions", they could more quickly learn about issues with their bikes thus moving around the "ideas to outcomes" loop faster.

 

Sensor Data : Futurists talk a lot about how the mega-city of the future will have its transportation controlled by a very smart computer control program. This program will strike an optimal balance between immersions, safety and journey times. Full Throttle realised that it must learn to play in this world - it would probably be required to have its bikes provide sensor data to these transportation control systems. Although, like many bikers, Ulli has distrain for Formula One, he does recognise that the tele-metrics pouring off the F1 cars is probably where the future is going.

 

Cloud

Half way through this Enterprise 2020-based planning session, Ulli had a "wobbly moment". He became very concerned about the sheer amount of new stuff his IT department would need to embrace. If he was honest with himself, he would also admit he was nervous that if he didn't embrace smart apps and big data information, then the business units would probably do it for themselves, relegating IT to "doing the boring stuff". Ulli didn't want this.

 

So, like the monkey with his hand in the cookie jar, Ulli realised he had to let go of something in order to grab the juicy e-bike apps and big data information analysis.

 

He therefore started thinking about the non-core applications that he could SaaS. I've talked about this a lot in the past, so I won't dwell on this any more in this post.

 

Ulli then turned to "infrastructure services". Yes, he could SaaS whole non-core applications, but what about the core applications? Should he use his data centres for the development and production systems for his core applications, or should these too go to public cloud?

 

Like many CIOs Ulli doesn't know the answer to that question, and more importantly, he felt that it is not the right time to "get off the fence". He wants to have the ability to switch from data centre to public cloud and from public cloud to data centre very easily - at the flick of a switch if possible. We call this "late binding" - you only choose the systems your server applications will run on at the last minute.

 

So, Full Throttle will go thru an Application Portfolio Management exercise with a view to choosing the non-core applications to SaaS today and in the future. And it will put in place technology that allows it to "late bind" applications to either public cloud or their own data venter-based cloud.

 

Security

Security needs to support this new "smart apps on bikes" model. Full Throttle needs to ensure their bike-based apps can't be hacked and the data coming from them can't be spoofed. 

 

Privacy laws regarding data collected from customers are getting stricter all the time. And they vary from country to country (and even state to state). Full Throttle therefore started a search for a "privacy engine" - an application that will allow them to easily program and then provably enforce, data privacy regulations. 

 

Summary

I know that this is a theoretical exercise that we went thru in order to create HP sales training, but we genuinely found it very useful. Ulli and his colleagues had never used Enterprise 2020 in this way. They were impressed at how an Enterprise 2020-based planning approach was able to tease out investment areas that they would have missed had they used the more usual "adjustment from the current state" approach to planning.

 

Author : Mike Shaw

 

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About the Author
Mike has been with HP for 30 years. Half of that time was in R&D, mainly as an architect. The other 15 years has been spent in product manag...


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