Discover Performance Blog
Welcome to the Discover Performance blog, a resource for enterprise IT leaders who share a passion for performing better. Here you’ll find strategic insights and best practices from your peers as well as from HP’s own practitioners who help others define, measure and achieve better IT performances.

The answer to IT’s struggle to discover and manage configurations

kees.pngBy Kees Van Den Brink


In my last blog post I wrote about finding ways that automation can reduce waste. There is another area where automation has the potential to unlock significant savings for organizations, and that is with discovery for configuration management.


Discovery can pose a huge challenge for IT. Maybe your organization is one of the lucky few to have its act together on this. But what I see more often is that—most often because of human error—organizations struggle to discover and manage configurations, even when they have good tools at their disposal.


If you were to apply Lean principles—in the pure sense—to this problem, you would stop doing something that doesn’t add value. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work here. You still need to perform configuration management. And discovery is required because it’s not possible to maintain a vast number of configuration items manually. But there has to be a better way.


Labels: automation

The full Big Data 2020 chapter is now published

bigdata2020 chapter.png


The Big Data 20/20 chapter is now published. It contains chapters on:

  • Analytics for the people and 360-degree data views
  • Everything is an experiment - using big data to quickly and accurately adjust your "products"
  • Augmenting humans - how big data will be used to increase the gearing of information workers
  • Predict and adjust - using big data to proactively recognise patterns, thus allowing us to predict and adjust to avoid bad things and maximize good things
  • Privacy in 2020 - big data will most certainly improve our lives. But we must balance its use with our need for privacy

You can download the whole Big Data 20/20 chapter

Out of the box adoption isn’t enough

michael-garrett2.jpgI’ve written several posts about how to successfully implement software out of the box and drive user adoption—two important factors in achieving ROI and successful transformations. One of the keys lies in ensuring that you’ve delivered the business case. In working with customers, however, we’ve found that this can often be a difficult journey to map.


But what if you had a proven methodology and set of best practices that essentially showed you how to get alignment between stakeholders, deliver the business case, deploy software rapidly with a minimum of customization and increase user adoption? In this post I’ll share some of what we’ve learned about enabling rapid deployment. (For more insight from HP Software Professional Services, see our new ebook ‘Deliver business value.’)

Smart lamp posts. And, Nest is going for an open approach to home automation

nest.pngSmart devices are gaining pace - Chicago plans for smart lamp posts that measure air polution, noise polution and (PRIVACY ALERT) pedestrians.


And NEST, makers of smoke alarms and CO2 alams have released an API to their devices. I htink that this is good - it means that we may have just one unit managing the smart home, rather than one unit per smart device manufacturer. 

Stop making this mistake if you really want value from automation

kees.pngBy Kees Van Den Brink


In my work with HP Software Professional Services, I often consult with customers about their automation projects. Recently I worked with a customer that was having trouble making the business case for automation. They were constantly automating stuff, but they didn’t know if they were getting any value from it.


Automation can make a significant difference in removing waste or removing impediments blocking value creation. So why was our client having trouble seeing those benefits? I'll share two best practices that can help you achieve the results you're looking for with automation.


Labels: automation

Recapping HP Discover in videos from Las Vegas

Last week thousands of the brightest minds in technology gathered in Las Vegas for HP Discover 2014. By all accounts the massive event was inspiring and educational, and the key theme throughout was innovation.  I’ve compiled my favorite videos from the event as the majority was filmed and available online. 

Labels: HP Discover

Why Converged Security matters: when you add 2-and-2, do you get 4 or 3?

IT Ops and Sec Ops often detect different symptoms to the same issue and see only their side of the coin. By working together they can ensure that security breaches are detected early and remediated efficiently.


Continue reading to find out how you can better protect your organization with Converged Security. It is your key to a holistic, secure enterprise.

How do you make business decisions in an agile way?

shamim ahmed.jpgBy Shamim Ahmed


Everyone has gotten the memo that enterprises need to become more agile. But most of the companies I work with don't know how to get there. The biggest challenge customers tell me they have is, "How do I transform my organization and act in an agile manner?" They're mired in the traditional waterfall approach to business planning. It takes a big cultural shift to make business decisions in an agile way, so you don't lose the advantage of time to market.


In HP Software Professional Services Agility Services we've developed a process and methodology that helps organizations become more agile in their planning. Using these methods you can actually start to achieve a state where you're continuously planning and taking advantage of new ideas.

Labels: Agility

3 success factors you need for a DevOps transformation

michael-garrett2.jpgI recently wrote about DevOps and the 4-phase model HP has for helping large enterprises on this journey. Resolving the historical contention between Dev and Ops is crucial to the success of IT.


Why the friction? Dev and Ops are measured on two fundamentally different things that put them in opposition. The business drives Dev to release applications as fast as possible, so developers are measured on how quickly they release code. At the same time the business measures Ops on availability. As a result, Ops is afraid to let Dev anywhere near its production network, for fear new applications will break it. This has been going on since the days of mainframe computing, but it’s reached a critical stage with the rise of mobility.


For mobile platforms, it’s crucial to quickly release a new application or patch to support an operating system change or a new device. Otherwise you risk decreasing customer satisfaction—and revenue. 

Labels: DevOps

Roundworms and cyber security

AlastairCorbett.jpgBy Alastair Corbett 


My father was a leading nematologist. This is the study of roundworms, something which has been a serious concern in agriculture since the 19th century.


He was working on the problem of how these worms could be prevented from destroying agricultural crops. His study found that constructing barriers around crops in the hope that nematodes would be unable to enter the “safe zone” was over time ineffective since the worms will eventually break back into the area.


It was recognised that it was not possible to prevent the nematodes from gaining access to the agricultural land, so the best approach was to introduce direct hardening of the plants and dynamic attacks on the intrusions. The biological techniques involved the development of nematode-resistant plants together with the use of parasites that would detect and effectively eat the nematodes.

Service Management Re-Invented (Part 1)

Rafa.jpgTicketless IT: From Tribal Knowledge to Connected Intelligence


I always look forward to our major customer events, as they are the perfect opportunity to get a feel for the current industry agenda. ‘What’s got people most animated?’ I ask myself, ‘What are the critical pains points facing our customers? Which of our solutions are gaining momentum, and how can we best deliver value?’


Earlier this month we hosted over 450 customers at our biannual Customer Forum in Istanbul. Of those, around 200 were part of the Service and Portfolio Management track so it was clear that something has got our Service Management customers VERY engaged! I had many great conversations over the course of the event, but one consistent message I picked up from that group is that...

Find out how IT can deliver business value—with HP Software Professional Services at HP Discover

ebook cover.JPGHP Discover always marks a flurry of activity for me. I’m usually booked from morning til night, meeting customers and hearing directly from them about their IT concerns. How can they better enable their IT organisations to meet business demands? How can they compete—and lead—in an environment where cloud, security, mobility, and big data are converging to produce the New Style of IT?  How can we help with their journey? 


We’ve recently collected our expertise into a new ebook, “Deliver business value,” which presents our view of how enterprise IT can lead and compete in the New Style of IT. We’re launching it just in time for HP Discover—where I hope it will serve as a useful guide for the steps you can take to turn IT into a business enabler and engine of innovation in your enterprise.

Labels: HP Discover

A sneak-peek at HP Software keynotes from HP Discover Las Vegas 2014

There is so much to look forward to at HP Discover 2014 in Las Vegas. The HP Software keynotes will highlight the latest technology and business strategy from big data to security and you will hear from some of the most respected thought-leaders in the industry. Here's the full list of keynotes from HP Software executives.

Labels: HP Discover

3 steps you can take to gain visibility into application health

Gerben IMG_3879-cropped.jpgBy Gerben Verstraete


What does the business want from IT? The short answer is, agility and reassurance.  In other words, they want to know that their mission-critical applications are performing well. Can I book flights? Is the system working? Is it in a good state to handle seasonal capacity? By demonstrating application health, IT is able to show value to the business.


You may be performing event consolidation and application monitoring for individual business units (BUs), but if you’re not also doing this across BUs, your application health is at risk. If a network outage takes down your revenue-generating systems, that lack of visibility means IT could take much longer to troubleshoot the problem and restore service. (To learn how your business can reach a service-centric level of operation, attend my session at HP Discover Las Vegas June 10-12.)


Here are 3 steps you can take to get that cross-BU visibility.

Labels: BSM

Want an end-to-end view of your business applications? Learn how at HP Discover

Gerben IMG_3879-cropped.jpgBy Gerben Verstraete


Enterprise IT operations are struggling to show how business applications are performing end-to-end. This sounds like a conversation we had many years ago, but with the growing complexity of composite applications and mobile apps the challenge continues. Most of my customers are working to mature their application monitoring processes, as they are critical to business revenues.


My colleagues in HP Software Professional Services and I have developed a maturity model to help companies achieve end-to-end visibility on application performance. I'll be talking more about how you can move your organization to a higher level of application monitoring at my session at HP Discover Las Vegas June 10-12. Read more to find out about the 5 stages to predictive operations. 



Labels: BSM

Why Converged Security matters: you locked all the doors but your window is open

Security threats are continuously evolving and shifting. One of the ways that that “bad guys” have changed their tactics is Miron_why converged security matters pt 1.pngto no longer to attempt to get in through your defenses. Instead they look for weak areas within your infrastructure and enter there –undetected.


Continue reading to find out how you can better protect your organization with Converged Security. It is your key to a holistic, secure enterprise.

Labels: security

Implementing DevOps? You need a single source of truth

shamim ahmed.jpgBy Shamim Ahmed


When I describe DevOps, I tell my enterprise clients to think of it as continuous everything: continuous integration, continuous release, continuous deployment, and continuous operations. Continuous processes enable your business to be agile and keep up with demand, but they can also introduce chaos because of the many different levels of change involved. To prevent that chaos from wasting resources, undermining reliability, and hurting revenue, you need to keep an integrated single source of truth for every aspect of your system, including business.


To take a deeper dive into using DevOps in your enterprise, sign up for the DevOps Transformation Workshop at HP Discover Las Vegas June 10-12.

Labels: DevOps

Implementing DevOps? You need a single source of truth

shamim ahmed.jpgBy Shamim Ahmed


When I describe DevOps, I tell my enterprise clients to think of it as continuous everything: continuous integration, continuous release, continuous deployment, and continuous operations. Continuous processes enable your business to be agile and keep up with demand, but they can also introduce chaos because of the many different levels of change involved. To prevent that chaos from wasting resources, undermining reliability, and hurting revenue, you need to keep an integrated single source of truth for every aspect of your system, including business.


To take a deeper dive into using DevOps in your enterprise, sign up for the DevOps Transformation Workshop at HP Discover Las Vegas June 10-12.


Labels: DevOps

Big Data 2020 : Predict and Adjust


Monitoring and predicting anomalies is another example of how big data will be used in the future to augment humans.  

Such prediction systems will be better at multi-dimensional monitoring and they will notice the emergence of anomalies faster than humans can. 

But if subject matter experts have to sit with data scientists to create (and frequently amend) the rules that define normal and anomalous patterns, few prediction systems will ever be implemented. It is therefore vitally important that the modelling of normal and anomalous patterns is something that subject matter experts can do themselves. 

Juggling internal and external staff? You need optimized resource management

Jason Waugh photo.PNGBy Jason Waugh


Very few, if any, of my enterprise clients rely solely on in-house resources during a major project, which can make staffing a very complex process. If your business is like most, you’re working with teams of developers and IT staff located around the world; some of these resources are internal and others are contracted for specific tasks.


But the staffing models most companies build don’t give you the information you need to make most efficient use of resources, particularly when it comes to using external contractors. And this can result in project delays and wasted money.


Read on to get a preview of my HP Discover roundtable on how to optimize your resource management.

Know your customers 100% better

time value of insight.png

Knowing your customers better allows you to better help them (and sell more to them!)


We need a 360-degree view onto our customers in order to gain the insights we need. This involves analysis of sentiment (clustering and then analysis strength of sentiment), and social network analysis to figure out who the best connected people are and then influencing them.


And we need to analyse structured customer data too. From this analysis we can infer "affinities" - products and services that will bought together. This allows us to target our marketing much more accurately. 


Structured customer data allows us to build up a preference model for our customers, thus allowing us to make more accurate and useful recommendations to them.


If we can do all this analysis in a timely manner, we are more likely to influence a sale - speed matters when it comes to knowing our customers better.

SaaS isn’t the only way—software today is all about choice

michael-garrett2.jpgBy Michael Garrett


Reading the business and technology press, you might get the impression that the world of enterprise software is shifting on its axis to become entirely SaaS-based. But if you dig deeper you’ll find that the story is more complex. Enterprises are embracing SaaS, yes, but instead of merely looking to consume software on a subscription basis, what they’re really looking for is choice. We’re seeing this with our HP Software Professional Services customers, and also in the marketplace.


Here's how to match a software consumption model to your particular environment, and find the speed, flexibility and cost position that works best for you.

Labels: SaaS

The 3 most important PPM questions to best align people with projects and improve business decisions

Jason Waugh photo.PNGBy Jason Waugh


How do you make the best use of the people in your organization? It may sound like a simple question, but as businesses strive to become as agile as possible, it takes on more urgency. Customers often ask me, “How do we know if we have enough people to do all our projects? When we don't, how do we shift things around?” The biggest hurdle these customers face is a lack of objective visibility into available resources. Achieving that visibility lets you more efficiently align resources with project priorities and make the best business decisions.


Read more to learn project and portfolio management best practices like the three key questions to ask to better align resources to project priorities.

Big Data 2020 : Augmenting Humans

augmented conversation.png


In 1930, one person could harvest 11 bushels of wheat. Today, that same person can harvest 900 bushels. 


Improvements in the productivity of information workers have not been anything like as dramatic. McKinsey estimates that mainframes improved productivity of information workers by 2.8 percent, the mini-computer and PC by 1.49 percent, the Internet by 2.5 percent and mobility by 2.7 percent.


I believe that the most important use of big data by 2020 will be to augment information workers - to allow one information worker to achieve what many do today.

Excellent Infographic on "The Internet of Things"

inet of things.pngNice infographic on the internet of things.


It talks about what will be sending data, the comms over which it will send it, and the processes the data will take part in.  


It then talks about the new applications that will be buildable because of the internet of things. 

Big Data 2020 : Everything will be an experiment

completing agility.pngI believe that by 2020, we will increasingly treat smart devices, applications, business process flows, music and other media as experiments. We will use big data to quickly and accurately guage what our customer think of our "experiments". 


This blog post goes into more detail on this subject. It includes a discussion on agility, and how big data is already being used to complete the agility loop from release to "start design on next version". 

Big data that is out of this world

We often use the term “data scientist” when talking about the profession, or even task, of analyzing data.  But that term takes on a whole new meaning when you actually sit down to talk to a real scientist who has to make sense of big data in order to accurately represent what can’t be seen with the human eye.

Labels: Big Data

"Analytics for the people" - Big Data 2020

360 diagram copy.pngIn the future, we will regularly use "360 degree big data analysis" to provide us with insights. 360 degree big data collects data from human interactions, from the structured data we collect today, and data from the "internet of things" that will, by 2020, account for over 40% of the mobile traffic.


By 2020, subject matter experts will be able to build their own analyses using this rich source of data.


As well as discussing 360-degree big data, this blog post previews a joint HP Labs / HP Software project to deliver "analytics for the people" - the ability to model 306-degree, big data analysis without the need for PhD data scientists.

Do this and your IT org can be competitive with cloud vendors

Erik van Busschbach.JPGBy Erik van Busschbach


If you’re in central IT, how likely are you to hear this from the line of business? “Wow, guys, I never thought you could do the same thing as a cloud vendor.”


If you say “never,” then we should talk. As I wrote in my last blog post, central IT can regain control of the service lifecycle, drive business innovation and increase customer satisfaction. You can compete with cloud vendors on services. To get there HP Software Professional Services uses a framework called the IT Value Chain, which is basically a blueprint you use to transform your IT. My particular focus when I work with customers is at the very top of the value chain, in an area we call IT Services Strategy. When you fix your problems here, you drive down through the other parts of the value chain and improve all aspects of your IT operations.


If you want to hear LOBs sing your praises, you need to transform into a services-centric organization. Here’s how IT Services Strategy helps you do that.

Charting your career path from CIO to CEO

polansky.jpgToday’s IT leaders are being asked to take on additional responsibilities beyond traditional IT functions, says IT recruiter Mark Polansky, and along with those new responsibilities come new opportunities. Polansky, a senior client partner at executive search and talent consulting service Korn Ferry, says that the doors to higher ranks—doors that had previously been closed to CIOs—are opening.


As co-author of the Korn Ferry report, “CIO to CEO: Aspiring CIOs Should Focus on Critical Behavioral Skills,” Polansky found that there are “now more business-oriented folks in the CIO seat who can play a bigger, broader role in the corporation, who are more operationally oriented.”

Labels: Leadership
About the Author(s)
  • Alec Wagner is a longtime writer & editor, enterprise IT insider, and (generally) fearless digital nomad.
  • Lending 20 years of IT market expertise across 5 continents, for defining moments as an innovation adoption change agent.
  • This account is for guest bloggers. The blog post will identify the blogger.
  • I'm the community manager for Discover Performance and have been a writer/editor in the technology field for several years.
  • 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 management, product marketing, and now, solution marketing. .
  • Paul Muller leads the global IT management evangelist team within the Software business at HP. In this role, Muller heads the team responsible for fostering HP’s participation in the IT management community, contributing to and communicating best-practice in helping IT perform better.
  • Rafael Brugnini (Rafa) serves as VP of EMEA & APJ for HP Software. Joining in 1996 and has more than 20 years of knowledge and experience linked to HP. He resides in Madrid with his wife and family, and in his spare time he enjoys windsurfing.
  • Evangelist for IT Financial Management (ITFM), IT Governance and IT Portfolio Management, consulting IT organisations for Close to 15 years on principles of good governance.
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