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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Displaying articles for: May 2013

3 keys to successfully managing business services in a hybrid environment


Matthew Smith has over 20 years of IT experience, ranging from R&D to process and software solution consulting and has been with HP for the past 11 years. As the Business Service Management (BSM) Global Practice Manager for HP Software Professional Services, he is responsible for packaged solutions and the services catalog and works with HP customers to create solutions to align their IT operations across people, process and technology to meet the demands of the business.


I was in a Business Service Management (BSM) customer advisory board meeting not too long ago, and someone was brave enough to say, “Please stop talking to me about cloud.” We all chuckled a bit uncomfortably, but when I thought about it, I started to see where he was coming from. After all, large organizations have been doing client/server and multi-tiered applications that are spread across geographies for years. Cloud is not so different; the issue is figuring out how to monitor these services now that IT does not own the entire delivery chain.

You want to implement software out of the box? Here’s how

michael-garrett2.jpgHave you ever experienced this scenario? You’ve delivered a software implementation, it gets into user acceptance testing and users don’t like what they see.


This is a classic situation in IT—and unfortunately it occurs all the time. But why has it occurred? And how do you stop yourself from getting into this position?


We see this quite a lot in HP Software Professional Services, particularly in organisations that try to implement something out of the box. Customers will say, ‘Well, we want to go out of the box’. But then they don’t lay the proper groundwork. The software gets in front of users and they’ve got all sorts of problems with it. At some level the organisation hasn’t considered the impact this change is going to have on their business.

Do You Effectively Measure Your Business Value?

Mike Walker

When I meet with both IT and business executives, I often find that they are very interested in quantifying their value of their organization and rightfully so. Scorecards, Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) and Critical Success Factors (CSR’s) are all topics that are interwoven into those conversations. It’s important to do this but I often ask myself if we go a bit overboard on the endless need to see who has the most metrics.


I find there is certainly no shortage of these metrics. We all have a long list of them that we dashboard and report on. So why is it that IT has such a poor performance record with all these great metrics? For example, in a 2012 study by The Standish Group, respondents reported that they felt 50% of all IT projects are a waste of money. Moreover, we see reports from the Better Business Bureau that IT ranks 3rd in most complaints, just 2 positions worse than used car sales men. 

How IT can become relevant to the enterprise?

IMG_1614-Edit_SML.jpgMove from systems of record to systems of engagement

For some, mobility may have been the province of young people doing Facebook, Twitter, Mapping, and even Words with Friends. However, as Gen Yers enter the workforce in increasing numbers and as us Gen Xers and Baby Boomers have finally gotten hip, the place to engage has moved from the PC to a mobile app. The app-centric world of mobility is changing technology. It’s changed our experience on the consumer side: My wife is playing with one of her smart phone apps before bed each night. And it’s having a profound effect in the enterprise as well. The place to engage information workers has moved from the PC to a mobile app. These apps, in contrast, to the green screen applications of the past are all about the total user experience. In the words of HP’s Stephen Dewitt, senior vice president of Enterprise Marketing, today’s apps are fun, intuitive, and anywhere, anytime. 

How one organization took care of its IT financial management mess?

IMG_1614-Edit_SML.jpgThere is no question that electronic spreadsheets revolutionized the world of financial analysis. And although more interesting options have emerged from time to time, Excel has become the go-to financial tool for nearly everyone. However, Excel has always had difficulties performing complex financial modeling. My firsthand experience shows that financial macros break, and auditing a bunch of (a1-b2)/(c4*c5) can make anyone go blind. And how do you easily create more than one version of a plan? Let’s face it, options are the life’s blood of most IT managers and IT financial leaders. One partner I know of calls IT financial modeling “the mother of all spreadsheets.”

Getting both high speed and high quality in the mobile era


By Shamim Ahmed is CTO for Apps for HP Professional Services


Think speed and quality are mutually exclusive? That might have been true in the past, and many IT organizations still bemoan the days when they had more time to thoroughly test every bit of code multiple times before a big annual software release. Today, continuous release cycles for mobile devices have all but wiped out those leisurely days of testing and re-testing. But when Discover Performance spoke with Shamim Ahmed, practice director of application lifecycle and testing at HP, he made a surprisingly persuasive argument for why the speed of today’s development cycle can actually improve quality, not jeopardize it.

How one ISP used service virtualization to deliver apps faster and cut costs


I’ve written about how automation and unification speed up the testing process in the abstract before, but I recently listened to a podcast that serves as an interesting, real-life example.


In the podcast, Dana Gardner, principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions, interviews Hasan Yükselten, test and release manager at TTNET, a subsidiary of Türk Telekom based in Istanbul. TTNET —Turkey’s largest Internet service provider, with about 6 million subscribers — faced the same challenge many HP customers do with their application development.


Keeping Ops relevant—and making it better than ever

tony price.JPG

By Tony Price, World Wide Lead for Strategy and Transformation Consulting, HP Software Professional Services


For decades, Ops has been indisputably critical to the health of the whole business. Today, as cloud providers vie for business and deliver solutions faster and cheaper, Ops can’t rest on old laurels. Discover Performance spoke with Tony Price, worldwide lead for strategy and transformational consulting at HP, in our May issue.


In this outtake, he discusses how relatively new pressures such as mobility and social collaboration are threatening Ops’ relevance to the business—unless it can grow into the kind of provider that the business wants and needs.


Labels: IT operations

Use Enterprise 2020 to do your IT planning

Prague session.jpg


Have you tried Enterprise 2020-based planning?  Think about what your industry will be like in 2020. Figure out what technology you'll need to put in place to support this 2020 business state.   And then work out the "road to 2020" - how you get your IT technology from its current state to the 2020 state.

Interview with a CISO—the White Rabbit meets a vampire and zombie-killer!

IMG_1614-Edit_SML.jpgSeveral years ago, I saw the movie “Interview with the Vampire.” I don’t know about you, but that movie really haunted me afterward. Amazingly, I know many people who are haunted by their chief information security officers. After all, these folks are trying to prevent vampires and zombies from creeping into their enterprise network. Now, I do know from firsthand experience that CISOs and their teams do not use garlic, crosses or even stakes to protect their networks. In fact, even at a distance, they don’t smell especially offensive.

Are you setting your IT transformation up for success?

michael-garrett2.jpgThe other day, I was talking to a customer in China about the implementation of a service management platform that would help them automate services and reach resolution more rapidly. Now, this customer has more than 1 million employees in the country. At this scale, the challenges are not just technological but affect people and process as well.


As head of HP Professional Services, I frequently meet with customers like this one in China. Our customers are thinking about the next level of impact, such as how IT must now develop for mobile and social media apps because clients now engage through those mediums. Or they’re grappling with how cloud is now forcing IT out of the IT service portfolio decision-making conversation, which is now led by the line of business.


When it comes to complex IT projects, consider these three factors for a successful transformation.

How CIOs can overcome contradictory demands


We’ve just posted a new story on the main Discover Performance site that looks at one of the biggest challenges a CIO faces—the completely conflicting demands of the job. Recruiter Martha Heller has written a new book, “The CIO Paradox,” so we talked to her about what today’s IT leader is up against.


Heller’s book details 11 common paradoxes, probably the most obvious being the maintenance-innovation challenge: keeping legacy apps and infrastructure at their best, yet also innovating, delivering new apps and services, and doing it all faster than ever before.  And Heller tells us that the latest tech trends are not helping that problem:

The secret to prioritizing strategic demand for new initiatives, programs and projects

IMG_1614-Edit_SML.jpgWhen one looks at “strategic demand,” there are a number of ways to evaluate demand. Clearly, value versus risk is a valuable methodology to consider. However, I want to suggest that there is something that you need to do before you evaluate value and risk. You need to evaluate the alignment with business strategy and requirements. Many things may be important to the business at any point, but first you must determine what IT can do that relates to business strategy.

Prepare for the mobile app challenge

sw_infog1.jpgAre you meeting the increased demand for mobile apps? Is your app testing growing at the same rate? Keeping up with the challenges introduced by mobile has proved difficult for enterprises, let alone taking advantage of the opportunities it presents.


This infographic walks you through them and provides seven tips for preparing your organization to meet the mobile app challenge (click here for larger view). 


And be sure to read “Change your mobile application challenges into opportunities” for guidance on how to address the top mobile issues you’re facing.



Labels: mobile testing

Announcing the death of traditional ERP, shared services, and the datacenter?

IMG_1614-Edit_SML.jpgSeveral years ago, I decided to earn a second Master’s degree in strategic planning from the University of Southern California. One of the things we studied was futures research. In futures research, sometimes you try to determine where things are going by scouring the points that fall off the curve. For me, I wanted to know what IT would like five years into the future. So I asked around and found a leading-edge organization to talk to. And I went to their architects. You know these folks; they are responsible for the current state and future state of IT. I started my questioning by asking, “What do you believe you will be buying in the future?” Instead of responding “servers, storage and networking equipment,” they said that they wanted to buy “IT.”

Labels: IT Managment

Service Providers in 2020

Imike 400k.jpg believe that Service Providers will deliver many of the wondrous services available in 2020. Specifically:


  • Providing context applications (applications that are generic and don’t differentiate the business) like payroll, expenses, travel, email, collaboration tools
  • Providing context business process steps (business process steps that don’t differentiate the business). Either creating the functionality themselves or hosting services created by Enterprises
  • Providing business process management and integration services
  • Providing application development platforms like SAP as a service
  • Hosting the back-end services to which the 50 billion smart devices of 2020 talk
  • Providing maintenance services to bundles of smart devices in the home, in offices and in factories
  • Providing aggregated bundles of generic context services for SMEs
  • Providing aggregated bundles of specialized service for SMEs in a specific industry
  • Providing Big Data collection, storage and analysis services. Again, almost certainly focused on a certain industry
  • Providing many-to-many collaboration tools that support the workflow and privacy needs of the “Mosaic Enterprises” where Enterprises use mosaics of agencies and super-temps

To take charge of your cloud strategy, get your finances in order first

IMG_1614-Edit_SML.jpgSo you have decided to embark on a cloud strategy? Great! Like many IT leaders, you are looking into public cloud, private cloud or maybe both. Often the driver for the move to cloud is to increase business and development agility as well as to accelerate the time-to-market for new or improved business capabilities. Maybe the driver is the desire to be more efficient with the infrastructure that you already own. Stewardship is a good motive. However, increasingly, we are seeing cloud strategies being initiated to reduce cost or limit future growth of IT capital expenditure.

Tags: cloud| finance
Labels: cloud strategy

CIO explains the importance and meaning of big data to healthcare

IMG_1614-Edit_SML.jpgRecently, I got to hear a healthcare CIO talk about big data in general and what it means for healthcare in particular. This leader not only believes in big data, but claims that big data will move from “differentiating healthcare organizations to table stakes.” When asked why, he said the reason is simple: “We are in the business of creating the highest value care. And big data is fundamentally about serving our patients better than we do today. And everyone in healthcare will have to do it.”

Labels: Big Data

3 challenges that can keep you from maximising cloud benefits

michael-garrett2.jpgNearly a year ago HP introduced its Converged Cloud strategy at Discover in Las Vegas, and since then we’ve watched adoption of cloud services grow significantly. I want to share some of what we’ve learned from customers and from our Professional Services experts about how to avoid common pitfalls.


What I’ve seen recently suggests that customers do not find it that difficult to move to private cloud environments. (And HP has a number of services such as Cloud Maps, which can accelerate the transition and time to ROI.) But as I talk to customers I do see them facing three main challenges.

Labels: Cloud

Seven questions for examining the ethics of a business decision

Joel Dobbs.GIF

Joel H. Dobbs is the CEO and President of The Compass Talent Management Group LLC (CTMG), a consulting firm that assists organizations with the identification and development of key talent and with designing organizational strategies and structures to maximize their ability to compete in the business worlds of today and tomorrow. He is also an executive coach and serves as Executive in Residence at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Business. Joel is also a popular and frequent contributor to the Enterprise CIO Forum where a version of this article was first published.


“Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do.” – Potter Stewart

Labels: IT leadership
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