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.

For additional in-depth articles on critical topics for IT executives, visit

DevOps: What do culture and trust have to do with IT and business?

I’d like to tell you about a really special episode of

Discover Performance Weekly, which is a weekly video series that I produce on behalf of Discover Performance. We were privileged to sit down with authors and DevOps experts, Gene Kim and Jez Humble.  On the show the two discuss, with our host Paul Muller, VP of Strategic Marketing for HP Software, how trust and culture change the way IT and the business operate.

Will IT become a revenue driver thanks to Big Data? It’s already happening

keithmacbeath.jpgBy Keith Macbeath, senior principal consultant with HP Software Professional Services


In my last post, I wrote about why your enterprise might need a Chief Digital Officer (CDO). Integrating (and profiting from) customer data that sits outside the enterprise on consumer-facing platforms like Facebook requires a very different skill set from the traditional CIO role, which has thus far been focused on the data center and running large chunks of enterprise software.


When you have a C-level role looking strategically at different integration opportunities as well as how you use business data, IT can be a revenue driver. It’s very different for IT to be an active pursuer of revenue in collaboration with the business. But we’re seeing signs that this is changing.


Labels: Big Data

3 tips from Facebook that will help your Big Data journey

michael-garrett2.jpgWherever you are in your journey to extracting maximum value from your business data, there’s always something new to learn from peers. One company to learn from is Facebook. A little while ago I heard Facebook CIO Tim Campos give advice to organisations about using Big Data. I thought I would share some of his insights.

Labels: Big Data

Do you need a Chief Data Officer?

keithmacbeath.jpgBy Keith Macbeath, senior principal consultant with HP Software Professional Services


Today, every business is a data business. If you’re a manufacturer now in the consumer goods business, supply chain is absolutely central to what you do, and that’s software. It is all about data. That’s the back end. On the front end, social is absolutely critical if you’re in any kind of consumer facing business. 


And this is why enterprises are hiring CDOs. The information in systems of engagement becomes absolutely critical to large-scale successful consumer businesses. If you’re not leveraging it, then your competitor will be outdoing you in terms of customer knowledge.


Here's what a CDO should do, along with three strategic questions to ask before your organization takes this step.

Labels: Big Data

Meg Whitman to host live webinar “Big Data Changes Everything”

On July 23, Meg Whitman, HP’s president and CEO, will sit down with the HP Software leadership team in a live webinar to discuss how Big Data is changing the future of business.

Apps, Big Data and Security in 2020 - Rafa Brugnini's keynote presentation in Milan and Madrid

rafa on stage.png

Rafa Brugnini, VP and GM of HP Software in Europe, Asia Pacific and Japan recently delivered a keynote at HP Software's "Performance Tour" stops in both Milan and Madrid.


The keynote was entitled "Apps, Big Data and Security in 2020".


This post is a slightly cut-down version of Rafa's keynote presentation. 

How controls, big data and automation work to deliver resilient IT

By Alastair CorbettAlastair Corbett.jpg


Big Data. It’s all over the place. It used to be that the IT industry was a place where outsiders peeked in with awe, but now everyone actually knows at least something about how to use the equivalent of a whole cluster of early PCs in their pocket.


In this post I'll discuss how the IT team manages to keep a reliable, resilient IT platform in the face of ever-growing data stores, more demanding business applications and ballooning IT user populations inside, and increasingly outside, the organisation.

Four short Big Data webinars now available (and two SlideShare versions, if you'd prefer)

random webinar screen.png

Dan Wood, solution manager for HP Big Data, and myself have recorded four Big Data webinars. Each is about 10 minutes long. They are as follows :


- Intro to big data and HP's Big Data solution

- The types of data that go into big data and the power of combining analysis of these different types

- How big data helps you get closer to your customers

- Big Data 20/20 - a vision of big data six years from now


If you would prefer to use SlideShare, then we have also created :


- "The types of data that go into big data" in SlideShare

- "How big data helps you get closer to your customers" in SlideShare

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.’)

The answer to IT’s struggle to discover and manage configurations

kees.pngBy Kees Van Den Brink


In my last blog post I wrote about finding ways that automation can reduce waste. There is another area where automation has the potential to unlock significant savings for organizations, and that is with discovery for configuration management.


Discovery can pose a huge challenge for IT. Maybe your organization is one of the lucky few to have its act together on this. But what I see more often is that—most often because of human error—organizations struggle to discover and manage configurations, even when they have good tools at their disposal.


If you were to apply Lean principles—in the pure sense—to this problem, you would stop doing something that doesn’t add value. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work here. You still need to perform configuration management. And discovery is required because it’s not possible to maintain a vast number of configuration items manually. But there has to be a better way.


Labels: automation

The full Big Data 2020 chapter is now published

bigdata2020 chapter.png


The Big Data 20/20 chapter is now published. It contains chapters on:

  • Analytics for the people and 360-degree data views
  • Everything is an experiment - using big data to quickly and accurately adjust your "products"
  • Augmenting humans - how big data will be used to increase the gearing of information workers
  • Predict and adjust - using big data to proactively recognise patterns, thus allowing us to predict and adjust to avoid bad things and maximize good things
  • Privacy in 2020 - big data will most certainly improve our lives. But we must balance its use with our need for privacy

You can download the whole Big Data 20/20 chapter

Out of the box adoption isn’t enough

michael-garrett2.jpgI’ve written several posts about how to successfully implement software out of the box and drive user adoption—two important factors in achieving ROI and successful transformations. One of the keys lies in ensuring that you’ve delivered the business case. In working with customers, however, we’ve found that this can often be a difficult journey to map.


But what if you had a proven methodology and set of best practices that essentially showed you how to get alignment between stakeholders, deliver the business case, deploy software rapidly with a minimum of customization and increase user adoption? In this post I’ll share some of what we’ve learned about enabling rapid deployment. (For more insight from HP Software Professional Services, see our new ebook ‘Deliver business value.’)

Smart lamp posts. And, Nest is going for an open approach to home automation

nest.pngSmart devices are gaining pace - Chicago plans for smart lamp posts that measure air polution, noise polution and (PRIVACY ALERT) pedestrians.


And NEST, makers of smoke alarms and CO2 alams have released an API to their devices. I htink that this is good - it means that we may have just one unit managing the smart home, rather than one unit per smart device manufacturer. 

Stop making this mistake if you really want value from automation

kees.pngBy Kees Van Den Brink


In my work with HP Software Professional Services, I often consult with customers about their automation projects. Recently I worked with a customer that was having trouble making the business case for automation. They were constantly automating stuff, but they didn’t know if they were getting any value from it.


Automation can make a significant difference in removing waste or removing impediments blocking value creation. So why was our client having trouble seeing those benefits? I'll share two best practices that can help you achieve the results you're looking for with automation.


Labels: automation

Recapping HP Discover in videos from Las Vegas

Last week thousands of the brightest minds in technology gathered in Las Vegas for HP Discover 2014. By all accounts the massive event was inspiring and educational, and the key theme throughout was innovation.  I’ve compiled my favorite videos from the event as the majority was filmed and available online. 

Labels: HP Discover

Why Converged Security matters: when you add 2-and-2, do you get 4 or 3?

IT Ops and Sec Ops often detect different symptoms to the same issue and see only their side of the coin. By working together they can ensure that security breaches are detected early and remediated efficiently.


Continue reading to find out how you can better protect your organization with Converged Security. It is your key to a holistic, secure enterprise.

How do you make business decisions in an agile way?

shamim ahmed.jpgBy Shamim Ahmed


Everyone has gotten the memo that enterprises need to become more agile. But most of the companies I work with don't know how to get there. The biggest challenge customers tell me they have is, "How do I transform my organization and act in an agile manner?" They're mired in the traditional waterfall approach to business planning. It takes a big cultural shift to make business decisions in an agile way, so you don't lose the advantage of time to market.


In HP Software Professional Services Agility Services we've developed a process and methodology that helps organizations become more agile in their planning. Using these methods you can actually start to achieve a state where you're continuously planning and taking advantage of new ideas.

Labels: Agility

3 success factors you need for a DevOps transformation

michael-garrett2.jpgI recently wrote about DevOps and the 4-phase model HP has for helping large enterprises on this journey. Resolving the historical contention between Dev and Ops is crucial to the success of IT.


Why the friction? Dev and Ops are measured on two fundamentally different things that put them in opposition. The business drives Dev to release applications as fast as possible, so developers are measured on how quickly they release code. At the same time the business measures Ops on availability. As a result, Ops is afraid to let Dev anywhere near its production network, for fear new applications will break it. This has been going on since the days of mainframe computing, but it’s reached a critical stage with the rise of mobility.


For mobile platforms, it’s crucial to quickly release a new application or patch to support an operating system change or a new device. Otherwise you risk decreasing customer satisfaction—and revenue. 

Labels: DevOps

Roundworms and cyber security

AlastairCorbett.jpgBy Alastair Corbett 


My father was a leading nematologist. This is the study of roundworms, something which has been a serious concern in agriculture since the 19th century.


He was working on the problem of how these worms could be prevented from destroying agricultural crops. His study found that constructing barriers around crops in the hope that nematodes would be unable to enter the “safe zone” was over time ineffective since the worms will eventually break back into the area.


It was recognised that it was not possible to prevent the nematodes from gaining access to the agricultural land, so the best approach was to introduce direct hardening of the plants and dynamic attacks on the intrusions. The biological techniques involved the development of nematode-resistant plants together with the use of parasites that would detect and effectively eat the nematodes.

Service Management Re-Invented (Part 1)

Rafa.jpgTicketless IT: From Tribal Knowledge to Connected Intelligence


I always look forward to our major customer events, as they are the perfect opportunity to get a feel for the current industry agenda. ‘What’s got people most animated?’ I ask myself, ‘What are the critical pains points facing our customers? Which of our solutions are gaining momentum, and how can we best deliver value?’


Earlier this month we hosted over 450 customers at our biannual Customer Forum in Istanbul. Of those, around 200 were part of the Service and Portfolio Management track so it was clear that something has got our Service Management customers VERY engaged! I had many great conversations over the course of the event, but one consistent message I picked up from that group is that...

Find out how IT can deliver business value—with HP Software Professional Services at HP Discover

ebook cover.JPGHP Discover always marks a flurry of activity for me. I’m usually booked from morning til night, meeting customers and hearing directly from them about their IT concerns. How can they better enable their IT organisations to meet business demands? How can they compete—and lead—in an environment where cloud, security, mobility, and big data are converging to produce the New Style of IT?  How can we help with their journey? 


We’ve recently collected our expertise into a new ebook, “Deliver business value,” which presents our view of how enterprise IT can lead and compete in the New Style of IT. We’re launching it just in time for HP Discover—where I hope it will serve as a useful guide for the steps you can take to turn IT into a business enabler and engine of innovation in your enterprise.

Labels: HP Discover

A sneak-peek at HP Software keynotes from HP Discover Las Vegas 2014

There is so much to look forward to at HP Discover 2014 in Las Vegas. The HP Software keynotes will highlight the latest technology and business strategy from big data to security and you will hear from some of the most respected thought-leaders in the industry. Here's the full list of keynotes from HP Software executives.

Labels: HP Discover

3 steps you can take to gain visibility into application health

Gerben IMG_3879-cropped.jpgBy Gerben Verstraete


What does the business want from IT? The short answer is, agility and reassurance.  In other words, they want to know that their mission-critical applications are performing well. Can I book flights? Is the system working? Is it in a good state to handle seasonal capacity? By demonstrating application health, IT is able to show value to the business.


You may be performing event consolidation and application monitoring for individual business units (BUs), but if you’re not also doing this across BUs, your application health is at risk. If a network outage takes down your revenue-generating systems, that lack of visibility means IT could take much longer to troubleshoot the problem and restore service. (To learn how your business can reach a service-centric level of operation, attend my session at HP Discover Las Vegas June 10-12.)


Here are 3 steps you can take to get that cross-BU visibility.

Labels: BSM

Want an end-to-end view of your business applications? Learn how at HP Discover

Gerben IMG_3879-cropped.jpgBy Gerben Verstraete


Enterprise IT operations are struggling to show how business applications are performing end-to-end. This sounds like a conversation we had many years ago, but with the growing complexity of composite applications and mobile apps the challenge continues. Most of my customers are working to mature their application monitoring processes, as they are critical to business revenues.


My colleagues in HP Software Professional Services and I have developed a maturity model to help companies achieve end-to-end visibility on application performance. I'll be talking more about how you can move your organization to a higher level of application monitoring at my session at HP Discover Las Vegas June 10-12. Read more to find out about the 5 stages to predictive operations. 



Labels: BSM

Why Converged Security matters: you locked all the doors but your window is open

Security threats are continuously evolving and shifting. One of the ways that that “bad guys” have changed their tactics is Miron_why converged security matters pt 1.pngto no longer to attempt to get in through your defenses. Instead they look for weak areas within your infrastructure and enter there –undetected.


Continue reading to find out how you can better protect your organization with Converged Security. It is your key to a holistic, secure enterprise.

Labels: security

Implementing DevOps? You need a single source of truth

shamim ahmed.jpgBy Shamim Ahmed


When I describe DevOps, I tell my enterprise clients to think of it as continuous everything: continuous integration, continuous release, continuous deployment, and continuous operations. Continuous processes enable your business to be agile and keep up with demand, but they can also introduce chaos because of the many different levels of change involved. To prevent that chaos from wasting resources, undermining reliability, and hurting revenue, you need to keep an integrated single source of truth for every aspect of your system, including business.


To take a deeper dive into using DevOps in your enterprise, sign up for the DevOps Transformation Workshop at HP Discover Las Vegas June 10-12.

Labels: DevOps

Implementing DevOps? You need a single source of truth

shamim ahmed.jpgBy Shamim Ahmed


When I describe DevOps, I tell my enterprise clients to think of it as continuous everything: continuous integration, continuous release, continuous deployment, and continuous operations. Continuous processes enable your business to be agile and keep up with demand, but they can also introduce chaos because of the many different levels of change involved. To prevent that chaos from wasting resources, undermining reliability, and hurting revenue, you need to keep an integrated single source of truth for every aspect of your system, including business.


To take a deeper dive into using DevOps in your enterprise, sign up for the DevOps Transformation Workshop at HP Discover Las Vegas June 10-12.


Labels: DevOps

Big Data 2020 : Predict and Adjust


Monitoring and predicting anomalies is another example of how big data will be used in the future to augment humans.  

Such prediction systems will be better at multi-dimensional monitoring and they will notice the emergence of anomalies faster than humans can. 

But if subject matter experts have to sit with data scientists to create (and frequently amend) the rules that define normal and anomalous patterns, few prediction systems will ever be implemented. It is therefore vitally important that the modelling of normal and anomalous patterns is something that subject matter experts can do themselves. 

Juggling internal and external staff? You need optimized resource management

Jason Waugh photo.PNGBy Jason Waugh


Very few, if any, of my enterprise clients rely solely on in-house resources during a major project, which can make staffing a very complex process. If your business is like most, you’re working with teams of developers and IT staff located around the world; some of these resources are internal and others are contracted for specific tasks.


But the staffing models most companies build don’t give you the information you need to make most efficient use of resources, particularly when it comes to using external contractors. And this can result in project delays and wasted money.


Read on to get a preview of my HP Discover roundtable on how to optimize your resource management.

Know your customers 100% better

time value of insight.png

Knowing your customers better allows you to better help them (and sell more to them!)


We need a 360-degree view onto our customers in order to gain the insights we need. This involves analysis of sentiment (clustering and then analysis strength of sentiment), and social network analysis to figure out who the best connected people are and then influencing them.


And we need to analyse structured customer data too. From this analysis we can infer "affinities" - products and services that will bought together. This allows us to target our marketing much more accurately. 


Structured customer data allows us to build up a preference model for our customers, thus allowing us to make more accurate and useful recommendations to them.


If we can do all this analysis in a timely manner, we are more likely to influence a sale - speed matters when it comes to knowing our customers better.

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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.
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