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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IT leaders: Do you really have your stakeholders aligned?

michael-garrett2.jpgYear after year you see alignment with the business as a top CIO goal. In CIO Magazine’s most recent State of the CIO Survey, 55% of respondents say that aligning IT initiatives with business goals is the activity that consumes the majority of their time. And yet alignment is something IT leaders continually struggle with. The customers I talk to—heads of global IT departments—are searching for ways to get everyone on the same level of understanding about the problem, the solution and the benefits. Frankly, the complexity of large IT projects—as well as IT’s traditional position at a remove from the business—makes this objective hard to achieve.


But hard does not mean impossible. In HP Software Professional Services we’ve had great success with what we call Transformation Experience Workshops, designed to build trust and understanding among stakeholders so that there’s clarity and support on a business case for transformation projects. I’ll share some of the tried and true principles of these workshops so that you can use them to get alignment in your own organisation. (To learn more about our methodologies for success, check out our ebook, ‘Deliver business value.’)

2014: A game changing year for IT


Alastair Corbett leads HP’s UK&I Software Business Unit and has responsibility for its strategy, the promotion and selling of the IT Performance Suite and related services.


I returned from HP Discover to find Christmas round the corner and my family curious about my "little jaunt" to Barcelona. It felt like I'd packed about a month's worth of time into a few days. The conference enabled me to meet a wide variety of people from all sorts of different organisations, giving an insight into their view of IT today. Through these interactions, strongly related themes emerged that show how far we’ve come in the last couple of years, and the effect they will have on the future of our industry:

  • The shift in thinking about hardware, recognising that constant data growth has to be supported within the absolute ceiling of the supply of power.
  • The shift towards the virtual, and from data to information.

Keeping the lights on in a competitive world


Alastair Corbett leads HP’s UK&I Software Business Unit and has responsibility for its strategy, the promotion and selling of the IT Performance Suite and related services.


Given that the festive season is upon us, it is fortunate that my discussion this time fits neatly into the Christmas Carol model of the past, present and the “yet to come.” Not that I’m saying I’m Mr. Scrooge, you understand—though my daughters may have a different view on that from time to time.


The transformation of IT in business has been rapid and dramatic. This process has enabled business to become more efficient, productive and customer-oriented, while external technology advances have impacted on how organisations deal with their customers, partners and advisors.

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.

For a successful IT transformation, manage the 3 stages of organizational change

joshuabrusse.jpgBy Joshua Brusse, Chief Architect, Asia Pacific and Japan, HP Software Professional Services


In two of my previous articles I wrote about the importance of managing change for individuals as well as teams. You’re going to be more successful in your transformation if you are familiar with the ways that stakeholders react to change. Proactive leadership to manage these change curves will help people and teams return to productivity sooner and will ultimately make the difference in the ROI you hope to achieve. But in my experience, many leaders forget that the organization also goes through a change curve too. The success of your transformation depends on managing all three change curves and understanding how they interrelate.


What does the organizational change curve look like? To explain the process I’ve come up with a three-stage model, drawing on the work of William Bridges and Kurt Lewin along with my own experience of how organizations change.

3 ways to ensure you derive value from IT transformation

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


How do you define value when it comes to IT transformation? The answer, of course, depends largely on whom you ask. A business executive or CIO may have significantly different views than a finance director, for example.  Some examples of what I have seen described as value:


  • Value equals savings from less downtime 
  • Reduction of full-time equivalents (FTEs) by X%
  • Faster time to market thanks to a cloud-based development environment allowing for revenue generation sooner

Though the above are good examples, it amazes me that we only seem to ask senior members of the organisation what they see as value.  If we were to ask IT customers for their definition of value, we’d likely hear something slightly different—and more specific. You may hear such answers as, “Value is when IT helps me close a sale faster”, or, “I can find out who else in the company shares my expertise about our business experience in emerging markets”. Not so scary—unless, perhaps it’s your job to ensure that you achieve value according to such definitions.

Managing the 4 stages that teams go through when they face change

joshuabrusse.jpgBy Joshua Brusse, Chief Architect, Asia Pacific and Japan, HP Software Professional Services


In my last blog post I wrote about the emotional change curve that individuals go through when faced with change. Teams also go through change when significant events occur, such as a change in membership or a change in objectives and tasks. But the team change curve is about group dynamics: establishing roles and responsibilities, figuring out what people are doing, establishing and questioning leadership, and so on.


Team change curves are important, because if your teams are not ready to work when you start your transformation, your organization will not be able to move through its change curve. Understanding the four stages of the team change curve can help you better manage your IT transformation.

Leading people through the 4 stages of change

joshuabrusse.jpgBy Joshua Brusse, Chief Architect, Asia Pacific and Japan, HP Software Professional Services


I recently wrote about the importance of understanding and managing the change curves that your stakeholders go through when you undertake any transformation effort. In this post I want to talk about how individuals respond to change.


You can find discussions of various change curves in many business and management books. But based on my experience, I’ve found that people move through four quadrants when a change is announced. Everyone goes through the changes, even if the change is perceived as good.


For individuals, the change curve is an emotional one. Some people will move through the curve in a split second, and other people take months to go through each part of the curve. And some people never get out of one part of the curve. These responses to change are normal and don’t necessarily signal a lack of willingness. Each step is important and each step will happen. Here are the four stages along with tips for helping people through them.


To lay the foundation for a successful transformation understand your 3 stakeholder levels

joshuabrusse.jpgBy Joshua Brusse, Chief Architect, Asia Pacific and Japan, HP Software Professional Services


I’ve written before about the importance of managing change—this is what the success of your transformation depends on! And yet, even when leaders recognize that they need to pay attention to managing change, I still see them struggling to lead transformation.


To lay the foundations for a successful IT transformation I advise leaders to start with the concept of stakeholder management. Organizations tend to think about the stakeholders as the senior sponsors: the organizers and the leaders. And then they think about the other people as just other people—not stakeholders. But my view is always that anyone who has a vested interest in the change or is affected by the change is a stakeholder. This approach helps you avoid any exclusions. You just consider that everyone is a stakeholder. And this is the truth: Everyone is affected by change.


IT transformation – 3 best practices to radically change what IT delivers

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


IT transformation has become a buzzword in our industry. It’s an overused term. But I find that, like a lot of buzzwords, it’s really not well understood. People think they know what IT transformation means. But in many cases what they’re calling transformation is evolution: a large project with a series of small step increases such as automating, speeding things up, aligning better. So in reality they’re optimizing what they’ve already got. But they’re not transformational.


With IT transformation you work with the business to change the way you do things and take the business and IT to a completely different place. I’ve led multiple IT transformation projects over the years, so I’ve had a lot of experience in helping organizations through the process of significantly changing what IT delivers. Here are three essentials for a successful IT transformation.

Lessons from McKesson’s IT transformation

mckesson.jpgLike many enterprises, health care giant McKesson Corporation has needed to deal with legacy infrastructure and IT systems that were not as efficient or cost effective as they should be. In a video from HP Discover, HP Software Evangelist Paul Muller talks to Andy Smith, VP of Application Hosting Services at McKesson, to find out out how the IT organization went from lagging behind external competitors to one that consistently beats their competition in price and quality.

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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.
  • Chief of Staff for Software & Information Management IT at HP, driving business and IT initiatives, as well as executive, employee, and customer communications and management of change for the CIO of HP Software.
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