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.

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Chinese food and IT: homemade or takeaway…or both?


By Fil Zanasi, Business Development Director for HP Software UK&I


This blog post originally appeared on the Enterprise CIO Forum.


I love Chinese food. Who doesn’t? And we’re lucky because we’ve got all the options in and around our village. We have a lovely, elegant restaurant in a grade II listed building. We have a nice “eat as much as you like” Chinese buffet restaurant. We have a great takeaway that will also deliver. Which do I prefer? It depends on my requirements.

Competitive advantage and the software defined enterprise


By Alastair Corbett


I used to think of IT as simply a tool – like a slide rule for the mathematician or a pneumatic spanner for the engineer, simply there to take the load off its operator and make actions quicker.


Remember vinyl?

Now maybe I’m showing my age, but browsing through rows and rows of records used to be a common pastime for those wanting to keep up with the latest musical trends. I can see my daughters’ rolling eyes with any sentence involving me and “trendy”…


The music industry has changed dramatically over a few decades. Some have moved with the times and others have gone by the wayside. In a short space of time, Zavvi disappeared from the high street while HMV Retail has gone from most.


The reality today is that, but for small, specialist outlets, music businesses derive virtually all of their revenue through IT.

The Orchestrated Datacenter: Why automation is at the heart of the new style of IT service delivery

orchestrated datacenter.png


By Louise Ng


Automation is one of the easiest places in the data center to see ROI, and yet many organizations don’t know where to start or how to use automation strategically.


The business is driving demand on IT for “speed,” and this presents a challenge for IT. Having a strategy around automation will make IT more competitive and responsive to the business. Automation is the linchpin of what we at HPSW call the Orchestrated Datacenter—essentially, a data center in which end-to-end IT workflows are automated across the full stack—improving speed, agility, consistency and quality, while reducing cost. To learn more, check out the HP Toolkit for Implementing Automation (registration required).


To do automation right, IT needs to think in terms of services and service delivery—instead of pieces and parts. You’re not delivering overall maximum value when you automate little pieces of processes that don’t connect end-to-end. But when you automate a part of the service lifecycle you can operate on a faster, more cost-effective level, and report out on data that was sewn up in silos before. These benefits can be tremendous. So where do you start? Here are two use cases that can deliver great value back to the business.

Blinded by data science? Explore the myths of big data.

Big data and data science are the latest in industry buzzwords. But what do they actually mean and how can you use both to yield major benefits for your organization. Join us for episode 36 of Discover Performance Weekly to discuss the myths and realities behind a data-driven organization and the recent trend of hiring data scientists.

Why Converged Security matters: don’t fight the bad guys with one hand tied behind your back

Security threats are continuously evolving and shifting. One of the ways that “bad guys” have changed their tactics is to 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.

How to close the security skills gap: 40% vacancy in information security roles

Forty percent of security postions are currently vacant.  In this episode our expert panel discusses how this happened and what we can do to fill that gap and recruit new talent to the industry.


Watch this video to hear from Montana Williams, Chief of the National Cybersecurity Education & Awareness Branch at the Department of Homeland Security.

Why change should be a core competency in your organization



By Joshua Brusse, Chief Architect, Asia Pacific and Japan, HP Software Professional Services


Recently analyst firm Frost & Sullivan gave my group its 2014 Customer Value Award for change management services—something that HP Software Professional Services has developed into a comprehensive and repeatable methodology.


I’m especially proud of this award, because it represents market recognition for something I’ve long maintained—that you don’t get value from your IT project (or any project for that matter), if you don’t manage change.


Change is hard, and if you don’t factor that in to your transformation—plan for it, lead it, and have a clear strategy for working through the stages of change—you run the risk of not delivering value. If you’re not getting value from your software project or your IT transformation, it’s almost always an issue of adoption. The reason you’re not getting value is because you’re not using the solution. And you’re not using it because you have not adapted to the new normals.

Introducing customer-centric IT’s new ‘secret weapon’ – IT Net Promoter Score

Unhappy customers can be our biggest detractors. So how about a new KPI for IT based on an Net Promoter

Score? increasingly used across many consumer segments as measure of core stakeholder

engagement and satisfaction, NPS for IT could emerge as one of IT’s most important metrics.

Security through obscurity: How to create better communication for business, IT and security teams

Here's a special edition of Discover Performance Weekly filmed recently in Washington, D.C. at HP Protect 2014.  As

security becomes a topic in every boardroom, the need for communication among business and IT executives grows. However bridging the "language barrier" can be a challenge.


In this video, HP Software evangelist and VP of Strategic Marketing, Paul Muller (@xthestreams), sits down with CTO of HP's Enterprise Security Products, Jacob West (@sfjacob) and our special guests, founder of Trusted Software Alliance, Mark Miller (@EUSP), and Wayne Rash (@wrash), the Washington Bureau Chief at eWeek. They will discuss the importance of communication in the security industry.

Don’t assume that, once in the cloud, your data is “someone else’s problem”

At a personal level, it is terrifying for me to imagine what would happen to all of the data -- documents, spreadsheets, and photos -- that I store on various cloud services if those services ceased to exist. Most people don’t have a plan or process for what they would do if, say, Google decided to sunset Google Drive. On an even greater scale, with so many companies eagerly moving their apps and services to the cloud, what is their plan if the cloud service that they rely on becomes acquired or goes belly-up?

Creating a connected enterprise from the boardroom to R&D

Join us for episode 33, a special edition of Discover Performance Weekly, as we discuss the value of connecting dark data and creating a software-defined enterprise. We turn the table on our host, Paul Muller (@xthestreams), chief evangelist and VP of strategic marketing at HP Software, as he explains the concept of the software-defined enterprise and how the enterprise of the future will connect intelligence for a competitive advantage.

Farming 2020: sensors, big data and robotics technology will transform the world’s oldest industry

pumpkin and kid.pngFind out how big data, sensors, and robotics could transform one of the world’s oldest industries and what the future looks like as a result of these changes.


This blog post talks about precision farming, city farms using hydroponics, and using robots to pick crops, protects property and even round up livestock. 

Thinking like a bad guy for better enterprise security

Last week I was able to attend HP Protect in Washington D.C.  The event is HP's yearly premier event for security professionals.  This year's theme was, "For better security, think like a bad guy."  Take a look at two of the videos recorded at the event with Brian Krebs (@briankrebs), author and founder of, and Art Gilliland, SVP and GM of HP’s Enterprise Security Products.  Each have advice for security and business leaders alike to provide better security.

3 steps to designing the cloud services your users really need



“I don’t need IT.”


Have you ever suspected this is how some of your business users feel? HP Software Professional Services was interviewing end users at a big national agency in EMEA. This user—a high level official—told us he wasn’t interested in the IT services his agency provided. He did everything from his smartphone, using third-party cloud services like Dropbox. And he thought that IT was really just for his management. In his view, he didn’t need it.


Of course most users realise that they use (and need) IT, but often times they choose to consume it from external providers. These days your business customer is likely consuming cloud services from a smartphone. And they may have similar feelings about enterprise IT not meeting their needs. Nobody wants to wait three weeks—or sometimes even three hours—for an IT service that they need to do their work.


But we’ve worked with in-house IT to deliver cloud services like the Google and Dropbox services users are accustomed to accessing. I’ll share the secrets behind our successes.

Labels: Cloud Services

The big-data-powered Social Help Desk : because humans don’t interact in structured records

help desk.pngBig data's ability to understand text and conversation can be put to great use in making help desks more "human friendly". 


Big data can automatically augment conversations with relevent documents, it can make searching the help desk's knowledge base much easier and less frustrating for customers, it can automatically analyze all the searches that have been asked for and cluster together those search topics for which there is little information, it can cluster help desk cases so we know where to improve processes, products and services.  


And big data can analyze what people think about us, our products and our services by monitoring what's going on "out there" in the world of twitter and community web sites.

Slow-moving attacks are hard to detect. How can you take action before it’s too late?

adversary ecosystem.JPG 

By Gerben Verstraete


Most security tools today are still in their infancy, focused on what’s happening now while the cyber-criminals have evolved in the way they operate. Most tool sets are very good at spotting intruders trying to get through the firewall or trying to execute a cross-site script in an application. But they aren’t designed to pinpoint attacks that take place over the course of weeks or months. Detecting these slow-moving threats calls for tools that can analyze massive quantities of data and then visualize that data to reveal trends. To figure out what’s going on, you need to look at data streams and find the outliers.


For example, we’re working with a manufacturer on statistics and visual modeling of trends over time. First we have them establish a baseline and understand what normal traffic looks like. Then they can see where deviations are.


According to a recent Ponemon Institute cyber crime study, the average annual cost of a data breach in the U.S. is $11.56 million. And, the time it takes to resolve an incident has increased by 130 percent over the past four years. You need big data to uncover these attacks, because the machine data you’re dealing with is so huge you’re never going to see the patterns without it.

Are turf wars wasting your money and jeopardizing enterprise security?

HP20140317152-city.jpgBy Gerben Verstraete


Cyber attacks have shifted from denial of service events to the theft of corporate data and intellectual property. This means that organizations need to move from traditional, non-dynamic policy-based frameworks to actively finding threats and protecting their data. To achieve this in the most cost-effective way, security and IT operations need to overcome turf wars and share information and processes One of my customers, a financial institution, has been struggling to clear this organizational hurdle. Only a top-down mandate for the departments to collaborate has enabled them to move toward converged security.


I've written previously about the advantages of converged security. As much as an enterprise may recognize those advantages, though, the problem is you're still dealing with two totally different authorities: Security and Operations. And often when it comes to transforming culture and changing the way people work, people just don't want to share. So making converged security a reality really becomes a Management of Organizational Change issue. 

3 success factors for pay-per-use SaaS

HP20140315586.jpgIn my last blog post (3 signs you’re ready to graduate from basic SaaS), I wrote about how new software consumption models like pay-per-use and outcome-based services are changing the way enterprises deliver IT services. Such models give you far more flexibility than your garden-variety software as a service (SaaS) offering.


But there’s a certain level of maturity you have to have to make the most of these models. This is a business value decision. You want to be able to look across your organisation and say, “At X number of users per month, this is really going to help us.” But if you don’t have financial transparency into what your services cost, then you won’t know if this model will make the impact you want at the scale you’ve got. Part of our job in HP Professional Services is to evaluate your situation and advise you on whether you have the requisite maturity. (You can read more of our advice on how IT can deliver business value in our new ebook.) Here are three key factors for success.

Labels: SaaS

Navigating the tricky upgrade path from Windows 2003


By Ken O'Hagan


As we have seen in the press, Microsoft is drawing a line under Windows 2003’s chapter in history. As of early 2015, it will no longer be a mainstream supported platform.


The clock is ticking


The challenge this presents is not one of value add. This is a necessary activity to keep the show on the road. We could argue that it is a risk mitigation need the same as any other but I would counter that this is on a whole different level. Another main challenge is that of time. Organisations large and small have had the egg timer turned over on them and they are now against the clock.

3 signs you're ready to graduate from basic SaaS


In my last post (Savile Row SaaS: Here’s what you need to know about new ways of consuming software) I wrote about some of the new developments we’re seeing in the software as a service (SaaS) space. The idea is that as SaaS proliferates, we’re finding our customers have many different needs that go beyond basic, out-of-the-box SaaS.


What happens in many organisations as they grow and mature is that they reach a point where they want the functionality of a given product but they are looking for additional service. They are looking for certain benefits of SaaS, such as pay-per-use and subscription pricing, but may also have requirements best provided by an on-premise HP Software product.


Simply put, many customers are looking to get the flexibility and cost predictability of SaaS but with a more complex software solution than a pure SaaS product. Here are three signs you're ready to graduate from basic SaaS.

Labels: SaaS

Why Converged Security matters: win the Whack-a-Mole game

Security threats are continuously evolving and shifting. One of the ways that “bad guys” have changed their tactics is to 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.

Breaking down the FUD in DevOps

In this week's Discover Performance Weekly, episode 29, our host and guests discuss the FUD in DevOps. 


HP Software evangelist and VP of Strategic Marketing, Paul Muller (@xthestreams), sits down with DevOps expert and co-founder of DTO Solutions, Damon Edwards (@damonedwards) and author and DevOps practitioner, James Wickett (@wickett) to take an unplugged look at the FUD behind DevOps.

Want IT to reduce costs and demonstrate value to the business? Combine shift left with pay-per-use

tony price.JPGBy Tony Price, World Wide Lead for Strategy and Transformation Consulting, HP Software Professional Services


“Shift left” has been around in industries like testing for a while, but it’s a relatively new concept in the service management field and certainly new to think about as a strategy. Shift left involves finding a solution that is one step simpler, and frequently faster, than the current solution. Recently every time I talk about it, people come up to me and say, “Tell me more about shift left. How can we use this with our customers?” so interest is definitely growing in this area.


By working in a shift left manner, IT can deliver better customer service by redirecting users to resolve issues and problems in the most efficient way possible. And this is the key to shift left. It’s not about using technology for the sake of technology. It’s about improving efficiency and providing better service to your customers. So shift left may actually move a client interaction to a human being if that is the most efficient way of dealing with their requirement.


Also, when shift left is combined with a pay-per-use software consumption model, it can enable IT to become more effective, reduce costs, and demonstrate value to the business. (You can learn more about choice in consumption models in our recent ebook "Deliver business value.")

Labels: SPM

How to develop a culture of innovation in your organization

Join us for episode 28 of Discover Performance Weekly to discuss how to build a culture of innovation in your business. Innovation seems to be the word of the day but few actually understand where to begin.

Savile Row SaaS: Here’s what you need to know about new ways of consuming software

exec in suit HP20140217678.jpg


The way enterprises buy software is changing. I’ve written before about how HP is innovating to give customers choice in the way they consume software. (We also cover this topic in our new ebook, Deliver business value.) In HP Software Professional Services we advise customers on which model best suits their particular need: software as a service (SaaS), on-premise, or managed service. Each has its pros and cons, depending on your environment and the business need you’re addressing.


But look out just slightly into the future and we see that the changes wrought by SaaS—in particular the shift it enables IT to make from CapEx to OpEx—are going to have longstanding ramifications. We’re moving to a world where customers are looking to pay for what they use, and pass that model down to their business customers. Software consumption models are changing, becoming increasingly customizable and flexible.


What do these changes mean for you, and how can you best exploit them for the overall value you bring to the business? Here are two key considerations.

Labels: SaaS

Service management and social media


By Alastair Corbett


I think I’m safe in saying that pretty much all of us have at some time been frustrated by customer service phone lines that insist on you exercising your touch-tone keypad for the privilege of being subjected to dreadful hold music. Happily there are now increasing numbers of channels appearing which we can use to get help.


The use of direct online communications provides the customer with choice, and, if executed well, will enable the organisation to deliver superior service management. I’d like to break this down in to three approaches to service or helpdesk provision:


  • Direct, one-to-one feedback
  • Peer-to-peer and self-help services
  • Pro-active monitoring and action

The steering wheel for IT services: Using a service catalog with SIAM

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 4.08.46 PM.png

By Markus Mueller


Many of our customers know they need to become service-driven IT organizations. They are taking steps in this direction at the same time that they are also trying to manage multiple suppliers. We’re at a point in IT where these two areas are converging.


If you can successfully manage multiple IT service providers and simultaneously become service driven, you will be much more efficient and responsive to business needs. So how do you accomplish this? I’ve been working with customers in several industries to make this journey. The answer is using a service catalog in conjunction with service integration and management.

Labels: ITSM

Software quality: Testing times or time for more testing?

DPW_Software Quality.JPGJoin us for episode 27 of Discover Performance Weekly to discuss how to ensure software quality without sacrificing agility and major impacts to the budget. With enterprises today being defined by their software, many business leaders are concerned with their level of software quality.

HP Software evangelist and VP of Strategic Marketing, Paul Muller (@xthestreams), sits down with Founder of Voke Research, Theresa Lanowitz (@vokeinc), and Senior Product Marketing Manager for HP Software, Todd DeCapua (@appperfeng) to explore the best practices of software testing.

Use the IT Value Chain to embed security in every aspect of IT

michael-garrett2.jpgIn the New Style of IT, security isn’t something you do on the side. It has to be embedded in every aspect of IT.


The New Style of IT—the interrelated trends of cloud, mobile, security, and Big Data—is changing the way you deliver IT services and the way IT services are consumed. So certain assumptions no longer apply. For instance, the assumption used to be


  • You owned and controlled the end point device. Now you don’t.
  • You owned and controlled the network. Now you don’t.
  • You owned the environment. Now you don’t.

Your perimeter has changed. Instead of being a fence, it’s become like Swiss cheese: full of holes. If your users are on a mobile device and connected to Wi-Fi to look at something in the customer database, they’ve got one leg in the internal network and another on the external network. (If you’re concerned about security, come talk to our HP Software Professional Services experts at HP Protect.)

Labels: security

The Big Data solution that protects your customers, your brand, and your bottom line

HP GPAS.JPGBy Gary Moloney


Gary Moloney is Cloud Services Innovation Centre Program Manager with HP Software Professional Services.


Using Big Data analytics to get a holistic view of your product in both the supply chain and in the marketplace is something of Holy Grail for enterprises. Operations and supply chain need to know how they’re performing against performance goals with full visibility that lets them see if the supply chain integrity is being compromised, particularly if counterfeit goods are entering the market or if their product is being diverted into grey markets. At the same time, marketers want to know how their promotion plans are working when the product arrives in the marketplace. Or they want insight into how and where customers are encountering their products.


Find out about the cloud-based Big Data solution that gives you insights into 3 key areas that can make a difference in your business: customer interactions with your product, supply chain operations, and product authentication.

Labels: haven
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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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