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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Why you should run IT like it’s a cafeteria



By Erik van Busschbach


In my last blog post I wrote about the three complementary transformation journeys that IT needs to take to achieve continuous service innovation. To accelerate value realization, you need three roles in your organization: service broker (service integration and management), DevOps, and cloud provider.


Ultimately, we want to get your IT organization to the point where you can go to your line of business and say, ‘Do you have any more work for us?’ Because now we are so agile, so secure, so smart in the way that we run IT that we can take on more work. It’s about delivering that end result to your line of business faster than anyone else. But it needs to be good quality, it needs to be a secure application, and it needs to be cost effective.


In other words, you want to deliver IT the way a cafeteria delivers sandwiches.

3 key roles IT needs to play now



By Erik van Busschbach


The ‘digitization of everything’ seems to be one of the key themes in the industry today. We see this all around us. Think about the business and personal apps on your phone, the electronics in your car or home automation. Increasingly IT is becoming the business innovation engine, instead of just a back-office function. The new operating model for IT is challenged to bridge proven, core IT and fluid IT. This is also referred to as two speed or bimodal it.


I’ve spent the last several years of my career as a consultant working with customers to help them transform their IT organizations so they can deliver continuous service innovation. The key question I often get from customers is how to do this and where to start?

IT4IT and the path to continuous service innovation

Couple at airport.JPG


The IT4IT reference architecture was just launched by the Open Group in November. This is an operating model for managing enterprise IT. The reference architecture itself may be brand new, but in HP Software Professional Services we’ve been working with the underpinning ideas for a long time. In fact, we’ve been leveraging IT4IT in the service offerings we build, such as solutions for service broker, DevOps, and cloud. All are grounded in the IT4IT reference architecture.


If you go to the Open Group site and look at the materials on IT4IT, you’ll see it’s built upon a standard for holistically managing IT. Instead of process silos, it looks at the entire IT Value Chain and the four key activities within it (plan, build, deliver, and run). This is the same approach we’ve been taking with customers for several years now. Our point of view has been that you need to look at IT end to end so that you can deliver better value to the business and reach what we call continuous service innovation. But reaching this state requires a significant shift in how IT operates, and makes having a blueprint like IT4IT so critical.

IT4IT: Why the new way of managing IT requires a cultural shift



By Joshua Brusse


Last November, the Open Group ratified the IT4IT reference architecture, a new standard for managing enterprise IT. Basically, a number of large IT organizations came together to outline what competencies you need to be able to manage your IT in an era defined by cloud and mobile.

HP was active in helping to define the reference architecture, and in HP Software Professional Services, we’ve been applying many of the underlying ideas for some time. IT4IT gives enterprise IT a valuable new way of evaluating and managing itself.

While it marks an exciting step forward, IT4IT refocuses IT on different competencies. It means IT must do things differently. For that reason, IT4IT is going to have an impact on an organization’s people. It’s going to require a cultural shift.

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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