I was fortunate to have been able to spend most of my time while at HP Discover with customers. I’m always inspired through the candid interaction and discussion about how HP is doing, feedback on what we’re announcing, and most importantly, how the HP Converged Infrastructure (CI) solutions deliver the benefits as designed.
I admit I got a big smile on my face when companies like ING, Orizon Brazil, LDS Church, London Health, GE Healthcare and PwC all endorsed CI from the top of their lungs. Or when UPS, Boeing, and USAA shared their continued interest in how CI is and can be implemented in their environment. Moreover, it was gratifying that every customer my team met with felt HP is best positioned to be their trusted technology partner for convergence.
Upon reflection of my time at the event, I thought it worthy enough to communicate some insights and best practices these customers shared with me...
... Why convergence ...
As expected, most everyone confirmed their biggest pain points are still rooted in IT sprawl – having too many hard to manage and costly to maintain IT silos that is absorbing too much of their IT budget and negatively impacting their speed of IT execution. This trend was not slowing down or improving. Unilaterally, the attractiveness of convergence to them is both to “ACCELERATE THEIR IT” to more effectively compete, but also be able to MOVE MORE RESOURCES AWAY FROM OPERATIONS to be used for innovation. Additional data point:
“Most of the budget still goes toward “keeping the lights on” as opposed to new business initiatives ...
approximately 70% of the IT money goes to other than new business innovation.”
Forrester Thought Leadership Paper: Converged Infrastructure
Everyone gets the value propositions for HP technologies (e.g. 3Par, StoreOnce, ProLiant Gen 8, Virtual Application Networks, etc.), but many are still looking for more substantiation of the overall BUSINESS VALUE OF INFRASTRUCTURE CONVERGENCE AND CLOUD. So I thought these additional data points would help everyone:
Capgemini reports data center optimization leads to a 25 percent reduction of total cost of ownership
and a reduction in data center footprint by 75 percent – Capgemini customer experience.
According to a survey by Red Shift Research of 1,500 public and private sector enterprises across
the world, 41 percent of cloud customers are experiencing a 21-50 percent ROI in their cloud deployments.
We also have many more customer approved success stories that demonstrate the value of moving to a
Converged Infrastructure. If you’d like me to find an example in your region and/or industry please let me know.
... Best practice sharing ...
Several customers who deployed convergence solutions cited the best practice of IDENTIFYING AN EXECUTIVE SPONSOR FOR THE IT TEAM. This helped them gain the upper level buy-in and validation to efficiently move their CI projects forward.
Some customers also formed CENTERS OF EXCELLENCE (COEs) WITHIN THEIR ORGANIZATION. This helped them bring teams together without having to change the organization. It was a way to move forward in a less threatening manner yet formalize their “CI practice” in the organization.
With cloud a big topic, most understood that convergence is a journey and NOT EVERYONE IS READY TO MOVE TO THE CLOUD DEPENDING ON THE LEVEL OF MATURITY OF THEIR IT ENVIRONMENT. The beauty of HP Converged Infrastructure communicated by several customers is that it provides the foundation they needed across their IT environment whether they were deploying traditional “non-Cloud” solutions or deploying private cloud or public cloud solutions. Their goal is to better align IT with the business, but they know it’s a journey that needs to deliver value each step of the way.
Read this interview article by John Gallant of Computerworld with Louie Ehrlich, CIO and president of
Chevron Information Technology Company. The article is a bit long, but very interesting. Read how Chevron
has developed three- to five-year roadmaps to get the most out of IT to create a closer alignment between IT
and the business: Chevron's CIO Talks Transformation and Why IT Leaders Should Smile, Computerworld
... Why HP Converged Infrastructure
When asked what they thought made HP Converged Infrastructure so compelling (as opposed to other vendor offerings), many customers sited the fact that HP HAS A BROAD CONVERGENCE SOLUTION PORTFOLIO. This was important because most were deploying a hybrid IT environment (e.g. some cloud, some traditional IT) so they required choice and flexibility in what they deployed and when. They liked the fact that HP IS OPEN – meaning they weren’t locked in and HP has solutions that work in their heterogeneous environment – gaining the value of convergence does not mean you have to compromise. And they liked the fact that HP HAS PROVEN EXPERTISE AND EXPERIENCE simply because they can’t afford a mistake.
I was amazed that most customers I spoke with still plan to have, or do have, a mixed convergence strategy. Some prefer to build it themselves using reference architectures, yet the interest in turn-key Converged Systems is gaining interest and this allowed them to apply their resources to even higher ROI IT projects or just accelerate IT. The Microsoft and new Hadoop AppSystems were brought up by customers as examples of this.
Tools such as the HP Converged Infrastructure Maturity Model and Reference Architectures, or workshops like the Data Center Transformation Workshop or HP Converged Cloud Workshop were cited several times as very valuable tools/workshops in terms of helping them make sound, rationalized decisions.
The topics above were common themes throughout my customer conversations at Discover. I invite you to explore the HP Converged Infrastructure strategy and portfolio or learn about the new innovations announced at Discover:
- Visit the HP Converged Infrastructure web site to learn more
- Experience the virtual replay of HP Discover
I know there are many tough decisions to make on your journey to convergence and HP is here to help you as your trusted advisor each step of the way.
I hope this was helpful.