• March 9, 2015

Enterprise Unleashed: The Rise of IT

A Discussion with Hewlett Packard Enterprise Chief Technologists and Fellows

The New Style of IT | Enterprise Unleashed by HP

The IT Landscape Has Shifted. It’s Time to Realize the Power.

To be successful, organizations must refocus their IT emphasis from technology to users. IT is no longer a support function, but a necessary driver defining and enabling the future of your organization. What’s needed now is more than just the traditional “sense and response” between machines. The future demands a New Style of Business.

“In this new paradigm, you’ve got to be fast and flexible, and you’ve got to be willing to listen,” says Steve McNicholas, Fellow and Chief Technologist, Applications Business Services, EMEA, Enterprise Services. “The New Style of [Business] facilitates the understanding of and ability to flex and meet the customer on their terms to serve their needs.”

Sometimes called the “third platform” or the “nexus of forces,” the New Style of Business means giving people the capability to access and use enterprise information. It means empowering users to make decisions and execute ideas based on real data. This New Style of Business will drive everything from employee relations and customer and supplier interactions to business models, acquisitions, and divestitures.

It’s time to realize the power.

The New Style of IT | Enterprise Unleashed by HP

RIP Isolated IT

Decades ago it was different. During the advent of corporate IT, technology and processing were extremely expensive. Computing power was scarce. Programs and systems were reserved for the most important business tasks, usually big number crunching processes. People and systems were organized to fit the way computers worked.

This is in stark contrast to how IT works today. Technology is no longer a mysterious force, isolated in cool rooms and tended to by teams of technicians. Computing power is compact, abundant, and cheap. Mobile devices with tailored apps give us exactly what we want, when we want it. And on those occasions when they don’t, we can download a different app within seconds.

“Technology is more personal, capable of solving specific problems we are having in the moment,” says Mateen Greenway, Fellow and Chief Technologist, EMEA Public Sector, Enterprise Services. “What we’re talking about in the New Style of [Business] is enabling the enterprise to accommodate, realize, and optimize value from the IT saturating our personal lives.”

Gone is the era when IT was a discipline segregated from the rest of the enterprise. It has become something we all use, all of the time—like electricity.

Five Ways to Thrive:

  • customer experience
  • citizen engagement
  • employee empowerment
  • acquisitions, divestitures
  • IT-enabled transformation

The New Style of IT | Enterprise Unleashed by HP

IT Power to the People: Employee Empowerment

The key to harnessing the New Style of Business is your people. They must be empowered with the appropriate levels of autonomy and flexibility to do their jobs in different ways. This is more than just “bring your own device.” It’s also: “How do we manage that device and the information flow it enables?”

As a result, IT departments are struggling to keep pace with employee demands to make their professional interactions as seamless and productive as their personal interactions. Employees expect—at the very least—the same level of functionality at work that they enjoy outside their professional lives among family or friends.

Employee empowerment is a process of harnessing and unleashing human resources. It’s putting yourself in the shoes of your staff and asking a couple of important questions: “Do I really want to work for an organization where applications are old and it’s a pain to work on their systems? Why do things have to be more difficult than they need to be?” The answers to these questions can help you maximize retention of key employees.

The New Style of IT | Enterprise Unleashed by HP

Business Models Thrive on IT Boost

IT-enabled transformation is at the heart of this New Style of Business. It ensures that you’re sorting through data and consolidating it to find relevance and transparency. It allows you to effectively analyze events and data collected from consumers, partners, and employees.

Technology has always been about bringing to reality what was once only imagined. It’s about creating new markets that didn’t exist before mobile phones and portable media players for example. With tools such as sensing, the cloud, and Big Data analytics, organizations can imagine and perceive what is not readily apparent. When you know how to leverage these resources, you can manage information flows and mine these insights. Implementing the tools of IT-enabled business models is a gradual process, one that begins by identifying and articulating challenges. This is followed by the integration of technology to formulate viable solutions.

IT-enabled transformation is about facilitating faster and better decisions. Empowering your organization to discern market trends and innovate new processes, products, and services. It’s about interconnecting people in the ways they want to connect, when they want to make those connections. And it’s about providing people with the tools to seamlessly achieve these interactions, both inside and outside the organization. It’s a role that will continue to grow in the coming years. The New Style of Business empowers organizations to generate responses, take actions, and predict the effects of those actions.

Engaging the Customer: Market of One

Now that individuals are empowered with technology, they continually interact and increasingly expect that information and services will be personalized for them. The New Style of Business facilitates the understanding and ability to flex and meet that customer or citizen on their terms to serve their needs.

It’s a “market-of-one” approach built on strategies for relating to people as distinct individuals, each with a different, dynamic relationship with your enterprise. Characterized by the cloud, as-a-service delivery, mobility, and data analytics, this new style is about how, where, when, and why communication happens.

A big part of that process is Big Data. “Most people think of Big Data as these massive corporate databases,” says René Aerdts, Fellow and Chief Technologist, Workload & Cloud Global Practice, Enterprise Services. “But this is just a small piece—the tip of the iceberg.”

Some of the most significant Big Data pieces are rarely captured in any meaningful way. Examining peer-to-peer conversations across social media platforms, and collecting and analyzing unstructured data like video, audio, and text, can generate valuable insight. With the right technology, these functions become automated, enabling the capability to handle the ever-increasing volumes of information organizations now contend with.

The New Style of Business is all about capturing these missing pieces and generating insights from the communication flow. It’s where the value stream is coming from.

The New Style of IT | Enterprise Unleashed by HP

Overcoming Acquisition and Divestiture Hurdles

Enterprises pursue acquisitions and divestitures for compelling reasons. They want to go to market as a combined force to generate exponential growth. They want to add capabilities and maximize organizational efficiencies. They want to generate significant competitive advantage.

But the process is risky. What stays? What goes? What gets integrated? The New Style of Business enables a structured approach to evaluating what you have and where the business value lies.

The biggest mistake enterprise leaders make when undertaking an acquisition or divestiture is failing to establish a key vision from the start. They go through the motions with a hazy idea of how to proceed, hoping the vision becomes clearer as the journey unfolds.

“You’ve got to know where you’re going from a business perspective, as well as an IT perspective,” says Dan Gonos, Fellow and Chief Technologist, Global Healthcare and Life Sciences, Enterprise Services. “Most people think IT simply enables business. This is mistaken. In this ‘Fourth Wave,’ New Style landscape, IT is a critical part of the business.”

Gonos stresses there has to be a governance structure where both business and IT stakeholders are sitting at the same table working toward the same goals. Once this is firmly established, the next step is to scope the organizations to discover where the low-hanging fruit may be. What areas can be addressed quickly, with the least resistance and the lowest risk? Like redundant systems and applications.

Another mistake is failing to bring an outsider on board to shepherd the process. When merging or divesting organizations, you’ve got to have a neutral partner who knows how to execute. It can’t be done with leaders from within the organizations. It’s crucial to bring in a strategic partner who knows how to successfully bridge the cultural and technological gaps.

Most people think IT simply enables business. In the New Style landscape, IT is a critical part of the business.

The New Style of Business: So Where Do We Go From Here?

The New Style of Business means information must be both visible in a way users can understand and actionable. Think sensing, anticipating, validating, and figuring out how to use information to create value. The New Style of Business empowers organizations to generate responses, take actions, and predict the effects of those actions.

It also means finding relevance and offering transparency in a sea of data streams. Interconnecting people in the ways they want to connect—engaging customers and citizens while empowering employees. And facilitating faster and better decisions.

With the New Style of Business, the cloud, Big Data, and predictive force collude to successfully drive the enterprise. Is your technology vision in focus to capitalize on that power?