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 value chain: How enlightened IT executives can maximize IT’s value

IMG_1614-Edit_SML.jpgIn this post, I’ll describe how the business notion of value chains can be applied to IT management. As important, I’ll explain why viewing IT management this way fundamentally changes how IT thinks about its relationship with business customers. For IT leaders, this involves changing from thinking about the things IT does (the how) to thinking about what these things enable (the what). Richard Hunter and George Westerman said in their book, “Real Business of IT: How CIOs Create and Communicate Value,” that IT is like an exercise bike. The value proposition of the exercise bike is not in the pedals, handlebars, or the other components, it is in the ability to lose weight and get in shape.

Labels: IT strategy

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

5 goals IT should use to show it can meet changing enterprise priorities and demands

IMG_1614-Edit_SML.jpgLast week, we considered what COBIT 5 prescribes for innovation. This included looking at the need to ensure that innovation is focused upon extending the differentiation of what Booz and Company calls the enterprise capabilities system (in other words, its tools, talent, processes, infrastructure, etc). This week we extend these ideas to consider what the COBIT standard says about the portfolio process. The aim of this process so it is clear is to optimize the performance of the overall portfolio of programs in response to program and service performance and changing enterprise priorities and demands. To me this describes a cradle-to-grave view where IT is charged with ensuring that the portfolio of services (whether existing or extension) meets the enterprise’s priorities and demands. Do this and you are strengthening the enterprise’s capabilities system, and thus its capacity for innovation.

COBIT 5 guides IT leaders to better manage future orientation in their organizations

Myles 3.jpgIn my post “Making COBIT 5 part of your IT strategy,” I wrote about why the latest release of the COBIT standard is big news when it comes to IT governance and IT-business alignment. This week I review what COBIT says about how well you manage your IT organization for the future. In scorecard parlance, I will be reviewing what is called the Learning and Growth quadrant.

Labels: IT strategy

COBIT 5 scorecard measures IT’s relationship with its customers

Myles 3.jpgThree weeks ago in “Making COBIT 5 part of your IT strategy,” I wrote about why the latest release of the COBIT standard should be on your radar. Simply put, COBIT 5 delivers a comprehensive framework that assists you in achieving the business’s objectives for the governance and management of enterprise IT. This week I review what COBIT has to say about measuring IT’s relationship with its customers (the business) and thereby, with its customer’s customers. As I did in my previous post about COBIT 5’s financial recommendations (“COBIT 5 scorecard measures the quality of IT’s financial performance”), I’ll start by reviewing COBIT 5’s recommendation for the customer quadrant of the Enterprise Balanced Scorecard and then focus my attention on the IT Balanced Scorecard recommendations.

Labels: COBIT 5| IT strategy

Using cost allocation so the business gets IT!

Better Less.jpgLast week in my post “Achieving financial transparency through IT Financial Management,” I talked about the importance of getting IT costs to a business service level. As a reminder, we need to do this in IT so the business understands where the money on a plan is going and so IT can “act like a businessperson” in its discussions with the business regarding spending priorities. But how do you do this when how IT collects its costs by cost center? The answer is allocation.

COBIT 5 scorecard measures the quality of IT’s financial performance

Better Less.jpgLast week in “Making COBIT 5 part of your IT strategy,” I wrote about why the latest release of the COBIT standard should be on your radar. This week I begin a detailed review of COBIT 5, starting with how your IT organization can use this version to show how IT is contributing to your business’s financial performance, and in particular, helping to mitigate risk and ease the compliance burden.

Labels: IT strategy

Making COBIT 5 part of your IT strategy

Better Less.jpgI was recently with a number of IT Executives at HP’s Discover Conference. I asked them how important COBIT was for their companies. For those that are new to IT management and compliance, COBIT is the business framework for enterprise IT management and governance created by the standards body ISACA. Just about everyone in the group said COBIT was extremely important. But there’s recently been a new release of COBIT (COBIT 5), and most of the people I asked didn’t seem to know what it means for their organizations.

Labels: IT strategy

How to create a performance scorecard for the domain of IT automation

Better Myles.jpgI’ve written before about the CIO whose remarks about performance management have really stayed with me. Basically, he told me that to get the business transformation and ROI that he wants from an IT toolset, it’s necessary to have a performance management system that measures the benefits that are delivered. In my last post, I talked about the importance of being able to measure the benefits of your business service management software. This week, I turn automation as a domain.

Bill Veghte reviewed HP IT Performance Suite and put HP Executive Scorecard on top

bill.jpgBill Veghte, HP’s Chief Operating Officer, reviewed the HP IT Performance Suite in his keynote address this morning on the last day of HP Discover Vegas 2012. He shared specifically how the HP Executive Scorecard sits on the top of the solutions offering and is effectively the starting and ending point for customers to see, understand, and act. He went onto say that HP had listened to its customers when a year ago it came up with 170 KPIs that drive improved IT performance.

Labels: IT strategy

Accenture presentation on “Value-Driven IT Performance Scorecards”

At HP Discover Las Vegas 2012, I watched Claus Rydkjaer and Jakob Kaad from Accenture deliver a presentation called Value-Driven IT Performance Scorecards today. The presentation focused on Accenture’s emerging relationship with HP on its Executive Scorecard and the value the joint relationship provides. Most of all, it showed how Accenture and HP can make IT measurement and management matter to IT and business leaders.

Labels: IT strategy

Making it matter—Meg Whitman’s talk

Better Myles.jpgMeg Whitman gave her keynote speech today at HP Discover on “Making it Matter.”  Meg said, “This is what we do for our customers. We make technology work for them.” We are (at HP) about solving your problems and realizing your opportunities. Specifically, “we solve our customer problems around Converged Cloud; Security; and Information Management.” And as I think about what we are doing with the HP Executive Scorecard, I concluded that what Executive Scorecard is about at its core is demonstrating and managing IT to make it Matter.

Labels: IT strategy

IT Leaders Discuss the use and value of Executive Scorecard

Better Myles.jpgOne of the things that we try to do at HP is listen to our customers. Often times this is accomplished around events. Today @HP Discover, we met with IT leaders from several companies regarding their use of Executive Scorecards. Each had a story to tell on the value of the product.

Labels: IT strategy

My 5 favorite new features in HP Executive Scorecard 9.3

Better Myles.jpgFor those of you that have been reading my Discover Performance blogs, you know I have been suggesting that a balanced scorecard methodology applies to IT management and that this approach can help drive world class IT organizations with greater IT effectiveness, better business alignment, and lower cost. Or in HP lingo, it is about making it matter. A key underpinning of making this reality involves doing three things:

1)      eliminating the development timeline

2)      using data that customers already have

3)      setting measurable goals covering the full spectrum of IT functions

Labels: IT strategy

Managers speak out about IT management and measurement

Better Myles.jpgLast week I participated in two roundtables attended by customers in healthcare and public sector. The topic for both was IT management and, in particular, a discussion around what one area would you like improve in your organization in terms of management and measurement. A number of the comments coming from this question were fascinating, because they illuminate what many in IT are going through right now. 

Labels: IT strategy

Make sure you can measure the benefits of your quality management software

Better Myles.jpgRecently, I shared my meeting with a CIO from a Global 50 company. When I discussed with him the importance of IT performance management, this CIO said that no one talks to him about IT performance management. He went onto say that having a performance management system would ensure he gets the business transformation and ROI out of the IT toolset purchases that he makes. “What I need is best practice KPIs to measure along the journey,” he said. Given this, I will turn my attention in this blog to quality management and what measures matter for this activity.

IT service management needs the ability to measure its benefits

Better Myles.jpgLast summer, I met with a CIO from a Global 50 company. His team was in the decision-making process for the purchase of a new service management tool. When we discussed IT performance management, this CIO said that no one else had talked to him about it. All the vendors on the short list had only mentioned the ROI for buying the tool.  He went onto say that having a performance management system with a service management tool means that he will get the business transformation and ROI that were his goals in purchasing the new tool in the first place.

Structuring IT for Improvement

Better Myles.jpgI met an interesting growth company last week. What made them most noteworthy was that IT was seen as essential to the company’s growth. How many IT organizations, especially those in the energy sector, can claim this type of linkage between the business and IT? In my previous dealings with oil and gas companies, IT was seen as a cost center and not treated as a strategic business partner essential to the company. 

Labels: IT strategy

Go Forth and Automate That!

My picture2.jpgRecently, I receive a warm reception from a very interesting new Vice President of Applications – let’s call her Mary. Mary and her team were manually building scorecards and dashboards for the extended IT management team. Mary was using these, as it turned out, not only to establish her position within the IT organization, but more importantly to establish credibility for the IT organization as a whole with its business customers.

Labels: IT strategy

What do real-life CIOs need to measure?

My picture2.jpgI’ve written before about what measures IT leaders should be tracking to achieve IT transformation and demonstrate increased business value. Now I want to share what I’ve learned from talking to real-life CIOs about what they want to measure and how they should be measuring themselves. My analysis is based upon interviews of a diverse group of CIOs from the following organizations: 

  • A global insurer
  • A major US insurer
  • 2 major regional banks
  • A major retail chain
  • A major oil and gas manufacturer
  • A major healthcare provider
  • A worldwide consumer goods company
Labels: IT strategy

Leading versus lagging indicators of IT performance

My picture2.jpgRecently, there have been some articles and a lot of blog chatter about IT Key Performance Indicators. This of course is a good thing because improved measurement and management is critical to IT organizations getting a seat at the table. A key element of this discussion has focused around the question of what is a leading indicator versus a lagging indicator per the blog posts by Eric Brown and Jerry Bishop.

Labels: IT strategy

5 ways to measure the success of a security and risk management strategy

My picture2.jpgSecurity is a front-and-center concern for businesses today. Cyber threats are getting more sophisticated and even more unpredictable. More importantly, the risks associated with getting security and risk management wrong include everything from financial loss, reputation damage, customer loss, lawsuits and even human life. As it turns out, it is a lack of IT coordination between people, process, and technology that actually creates the blind spots attackers exploit. Piling on more software, more processes, and more stopgap measures is simply not a sustainable option.

Labels: IT strategy

Driving Relevance for VP of Applications

Indiana.jpgIn my most recent blog, I presented a study of the anthropology of VP of Operations—in particular, I shared what they care about and their world view. In this blog, I will put the attention on the other side of the house by covering the VP of Applications. To be clear, VP of Applications are not a universal role for IT organizations and as well, the role varies from organization. We find Vice President of Applications typically where there is a CIO on top of the entire IT organization. As well, we find that they divide between those that own just development and those that own application production and development.

Labels: IT strategy

Driving Third Wave Businesses: Setting an information strategy as well as 5 ways to measure success

The-Third-Wave-9780553246988.jpgAs adjunct faculty at the University of Phoenix, I get to talk to students about the future of marketing and communications. In our dialogues, we discuss how business success increasingly depends upon understanding and leveraging information.    To make things more concrete, I share in particular the work of Alvin Toffler. In “The Third Wave,” Toffler asserts that we live in a world where competition will increasingly take place on the currency and usability of information.


To me, this drives to three salient conclusions for information age businesses.


1)   Information needs to drive further down in organizations because top decision makers do not have the background to respond at the pace needed by change.

2)   Information needs to be available faste,r which means that we need to make preprocessed, unstructured information readily available.

3)   Information needs to be available when the organization is ready for it. For multinational enterprises this means “Always on” 24/7 across multiple time zones.

Labels: IT strategy

5 ways to measure the success of application transformation

My picture2.jpgToday's IT organizations increasingly need to focus their technology dollars where it can drive the most business value. Mobility and cloud computing, for example, represent huge trends which place new and challenging demands on existing applications and their integration. However, most still have their IT investment socked away on legacy, keep-the-lights-on applications. Unless this investment is evaluated and largely refocused, IT organizations will find themselves between the proverbial rock and a hard place when it comes to generating new business value and productivity.

Labels: IT strategy

5 ways to measure the success of a hybrid delivery strategy

CIOs need to deliver more to their enterprises today. They need to be able to drive innovation, agility, and risk reduction. And they need to do this within the confines of a thinner IT investment envelope. These facts have CIOs and their leadership teams looking at a variety of sourcing options for their development and production environments. CIOs need, more than ever, to understand their organization’s core capabilities. According to Booz and Company, they need know where they can uniquely provide talent, knowledge, tools, and processes ( Just like the rest of the business, this involves becoming focused and “clear minded” about their distinctive capabilities and their infrastructure and service portfolio.

Labels: IT strategy

5 Ways to Measure the Success of a Converged Infrastructure Strategy

Most IT strategies have at their core some form of business impact. For most, the impact comes in the form of cost reduction, investment for new innovation, or business process improvement. IT organizations that I have talked to have grown organization by organization over a long period of time. Their growth has happened kind of like the weeds shown below. Converged Infrastructure–or data consolidation–aims to trim the weeds.

Labels: IT strategy
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About the Author(s)
  • 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. .
  • Maurice was appointed VP of Customer Experience for HP Software in 2014 after a career in hardware, software and services at DEC, Compaq and HP. He reports to the GM of HP Software, Robert Youngjohns
  • 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 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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