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 performance.

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Displaying articles for: April 2013

CIOs listen up: You are what you measure!

IMG_1614-Edit_SML.jpgA few years ago, Dan Ariely, a professor of behavioral economics at Duke University, wrote for Harvard Business Review that “You Are What You Measure.” In the column, Ariely explained that people alter their behavior “based on the metrics they’re held against. Anything you measure will impel a person to optimize their score on that metric,” he says. Remembering this, I have been asking CIOs over the past year what they measure to get a better sense of their strategic or tactical orientation.

Labels: IT strategy

The “third platform”: Is your IT shop ready for the cloud-mobile age?


The folks at IDC have dubbed these as the days of the “third platform” in IT, where mobility, cloud, big data, and social media intersect. In a recent Discover Performance interview, Frank Gens, IDC’s chief analyst and senior VP, shared his thoughts about the third platform, innovation, his participation in HP’s Enterprise 20/20 project — and how IT leaders can prepare their departments for the future.

The third platform is a change just as big as the make-or-break crossroads that IT went through in the late ’80s during the PC era. IT’s current epoch is a period when the adoption of the third platform will be the differentiator between enterprises that adapt and thrive, and those that will wither if they miss the boat.

Companies have arrived at today’s crossroads, Gens posits, because “mobile devices are redefining and stretching the edge beyond where the PC took us.” In place of the old client/server model, he explains, we have the scalability, simplicity and cost-efficiency of the cloud model. “And you’ve got the mobile networks connecting the core and the edge,” he adds, “at a range where you can be almost anywhere on the planet and you’re connected to the digital world.” Gens sees upcoming generations of mobile devices connected to cloud services as “the new foundation for what people will be doing for the next 20 years with IT.”

Beyond technology, mobility is about people, culture and skills


Mobility has changed how businesses interact with people, both inside and outside the walls of the enterprise. Employees and customers alike are now firmly in the driver’s seat, and businesses need to get ahead of this sea change—not just respond to it. Instead of stove-piping a mobile interface on yesterday’s apps and processes, IT leaders must rethink their approach to IT, from technology and skills to people and culture.

The mobile era calls for a holistic IT transformation so that your company thinks (and develops) mobile first. If you’re like a growing number of CIOs, mobility is a top a transformation project for your business in the coming year. Figures from a survey of IT leaders from 200 companies by C-suite advisory firm Corporate Executive Board, show that mobile applications development spending will increase by 50 percent in 2013, becoming almost 2 percent of overall IT spend.
Where to begin? The latest Discover Performance ezine suggests that you change your IT shop after assessing how it currently relates to the business. Ask the following questions, so that you can really “go mobile”—and not just put another coat of lipstick on your legacy pig:

Labels: mobility

What should be on an enlightened healthcare CIO or for that matter, CEOs agenda?

IMG_1614-Edit_SML.jpgLast week, I got to hear Robert M. Wah—the immediate past chair of the American Medical Association (AMA) Board of Trustees—speak at UC Irvine’s forum, Idea Exchange in Digital Healthcare. Wah elucidated on the technology and business issues for healthcare in his presentation, “The 3rd Wave in Health IT: Big Data Analytics, Cloud and Cybersecurity.” I found it enlightening, as Wah said that healthcare is moving from the digitization of electronic records to even more sophisticated analysis—he called what they want to do “population analysis and decision support.” As leaders, he said, “We need today better information for better decisions—the right information at the right time.”

Labels: IT management

The ART of delivering software education


By Susan Merriman, WW Leader of Emerging Technologies, HPSW Education


After starting her career in higher education administration, Susan has devoted the last 15 years to software education.  Ranging from ERP to IT, Susan has designed and provided learning programs to organizations of all sizes and industries.  In her current role at HP Software, Susan is responsible for creating solutions that help customers maximize their use of software in order to meet their business objectives.


Eighty percent of IT managers believe effective training is critical to the success of IT, according to IDC research. But a lack of effective education is still a leading cause of software failing to deliver its expected value. Statistics like that have made us at HP wonder what’s causing this gap between the perception of education’s importance and how it is delivered.

A prescription for improving your Problem Management process


This blog is part of a collaborative series created with my colleague Tony Price exploring some of consequences of traditional approaches to IT Service Management. The idea is to challenge current thinking and consider alternative approaches.



In our last blog post we wrote about how managed collaboration can greatly improve customer service and satisfaction with IT when it comes to Incident Management. The secret is to use enterprise collaboration tools to enable people to solve problems without getting overly tangled up in processes.


But managed collaboration also applies to the related ITIL process of Problem Management, and here the benefits are even more obvious. As with Incident Management there is a certain amount of control and compliance that needs to occur; however, beyond that Problem Management is about applying a number of techniques to analyse, diagnose and solve the underlying problem. These techniques are applied by a group of people, potentially across functions and even suppliers, (known as a Problem Solving Group in ITIL 2007 but for some reason dropped in ITIL 2011) that are identified to address the problem. 

Labels: ITSM

How Service Providers helped Paolo in 2020

paolo SPs.pngThe most helpful and engaging mobile apps don’t “do their magic” in isolation. They talk to back-end services.

This will be even truer in 2020 than it is today. Back-end “helper” apps in 2020 will be smarter in their analysis of data and more personalized in the help they offer.


Last month, we jumped to 2020 and followed a young man called Paolo in his quest to cook a successful meal for his date, despite his inability to plan more than a few minutes into the future!


In this blog post, I go “behind the scenes” and look at the back-end services that Paolo drew on in order to make his date a success.

How to bring world-class IT to your organization

IMG_1614-Edit_SML.jpgThe 5 elements to get you from where you are to where you want to be


Everyone I know would like to be part of a world-class IT organization—and chances are (if you’re not already in one), so would you. But what are world-class IT organizations doing differently than their run-of-the-mill counterparts? I believe they have integrated themselves directly into their company’s success formula. In their book, “The Real Business of IT: How CIOs Create and Communicate Value,” authors Richard Hunter and George Westerman explain that world-class IT shops know how to “discuss their contributions to the organization.” Today’s CIOs, in particular, must be able to move from “discussing budgets to discussing their contributions to their organization.”

Labels: IT management

The missing ingredient ITSM needs to improve customer service for incident management


This blog is the first in a collaborative series created with my colleague Tony Price exploring some of consequences of traditional approaches to IT Service Management. The idea is to challenge current thinking and consider alternative approaches.


Think back to the last time that you called a service desk and your expectations were exceeded (hopefully you have experienced this). Do you think the great service was purely the result of a script? Or was the person you talked to applying their problem-solving skills and creativity to help you?


Now think about the reverse. How many times have you been frustrated by the operator's inability to deviate from the script? Especially when you know what the issue is and what needs to be done! This is my own personal frustration! The result is poor customer service.  And these days it is common for many people to share their experience via Twitter or Facebook and other social platforms. The net effect can be really damaging for the organisation simply due the lack of flexibility.

Labels: ITSM

Cloud services: Are CIOs and CFOs on the same page?


If you missed the latest IT Strategy and Performance webcast, “Does IT matter when you’ve got cloud and SaaS?” stop reading this blog post and watch it now — unless you like spoiler alerts. The webinar posed the hot-button question, “When it comes to cloud services, are CIOs and CFOs at odds, or on the same page?”


OK, now that you’ve had fair warning, I have to share the second-best quote from the gloves-off CIO-CFO debate:


“If bad IT is playing with matches, bad cloud is playing with dynamite.”


That pithy summary is courtesy of Toby Redshaw, a former CIO who currently helms Kevington Advisors. Redshaw explains that when cloud computing goes awry, the “explosions…security risks, and the back-out problems that you have are much worse than if you’ve got something sitting…inside your datacenter.” But Redshaw isn’t down on the cloud, he’s merely advocating that companies be discerning when seeking cloud solutions. He clarifies his point, noting: “In the cloud, there are really good products and really valuable solutions. And there are some awful ones.” He defines “good cloud” as being designed for a “zero-training footprint. You turn it on and you use it.”

IT Management for a New Style of IT

world collide.pngA collision is occurring. A collision between the old world if ITSM and the worlds of cloud, of agility and continuous deployment, and of mobility.


Do these four worlds colliding mean that IT management is no longer relevant? No, IT management is still relevant, but it needs to change in order to manage the “world after the collision”. 

Mobile Apps – Why reinvent the wheel?

Rafa2.jpgMy first senior management role at HP was in a division which provided the core technology behind text messaging. I would bristle with pride as I saw the rise of SMS traffic, knowing HP’s OpenCall software was fuelling the growth of the telco industry. I also saw first-hand the huge effect web-based applications and had on the delivery of enterprise IT.


So I felt a real sense of déjà vu at this year’s Mobile World Congress, and not just because of my ‘first generation’ history with SMS. What really struck me were the similarities between the effect of web applications and the industry- changing impact mobile apps of today. Surely we can all learn some lessons from the past?

Can’t keep up! How to put the “I” back in Information Management!

IMG_1614-Edit_SML.jpgThere’s no denying that the CIO’s role is changing. A recent Booz and Company article (the one that I wrote about last week) predicts: “CIOs will be freed up to concentrate on helping the entire company develop the analytical sophistication needed to make the most of the rapid digitization of every aspect of business—effectively reasserting the importance of the ‘I’ in CIO.” If this is accurate, a core element on the CIO’s agenda will become harvesting data and turning it into actionable information. Put simply, the data to information value chain is about how well your IT organization manages two things: protecting your business data and transforming this data into information.

Labels: IT management

Mobility in 2020

What will mobility look like in 2020? mobility big animal picture.png


We have just released a new chapter in our crowd-sourced vision of the world in 2020. It's entitled Mobility 2020.


This blog post highlights the key themes from this new chapter.

Prevention is always better than cure: 5 tips for keeping your software healthy

Sergio Severo.jpgBy Sergio Severo


As Vice President, Worldwide Inside Sales, SaaS, Support Sales and Operations for HP Software Services, I lead a team of more than 1000 professionals. I also enjoy working closely with customers to understand how support services should evolve to keep pace with the rapidly changing IT environment. I have over 20 years’ experience in the IT sector with a strong background in engineering.


The flu has been epidemic this year. And no doubt many who have been ill wish they’d made the time to get a shot. After all, prevention is better than cure. The same applies to IT systems.


In the age of the 24/7 economy and always-on IT, none of us can afford our systems to be impaired. They have to “just work”: Your e-commerce and billing systems have to run without a problem; your website must always be available; your CRM platform has to constantly track activity; and on and on….. Minor issues can, over time, turn into downtime and in the real-time economy, systems failure can mean business failure.


Taking the right preventive measures can avert crises down the road. Here are five simple steps that will help keep your systems healthy.

Labels: IT support
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