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Can Disruption Strategies Make a Company Great?


Author: Adrian Velez, HP Enterprise Group – Content Strategist


What makes a company great? The usual answers are: A visionary founder, a risk-taking corporate culture and a great idea.


While those still hold true, there’s now another factor: A visionary IT department. As more and more business operations go digital, it becomes hugely important to have a leading-edge IT department that isn’t consumed with maintaining its infrastructure and is instead focused on using technology to take advantage of market opportunities.


In the tech world, we see startups and newer companies using this approach all the time. Netflix, Uber and Airbnb are some recent examples that have disrupted their industries via the innovative use of technology. The savviest businesses have learned from their example. In a recent HP survey of 1206 senior IT decision makers and senior line of business decision makers, 73% of leading-edge firms said they were up to the task of launching a similarly disruptive technology. Among laggards, the figure was 33%.1


Overall, just 45% of companies felt they had the IT prowess to disrupt their industries.1 Part of this may just be caution – leaders are loath to declare that they’re ahead of the market for fear of coming off as arrogant or misguided. Laggards know that their IT departments are holding them back, though, describing themselves as “oblivious” and behind their peers.


Similarly, at IT departments in leading firms, 87% of respondents say they have the tools that are necessary to be innovative. For middle-of-the-pack companies and laggards, that figure falls to 70% and 54%, respectively. Among leaders of top firms, 64% agree that their use of systems and infrastructure is a differentiator today versus 53% and 33% for mainstreamers and laggards, respectively.1


While one might think that new style IT mostly helps companies in the tech industry, as Joachim Frank, VP of Hewlett-Packard Technology Services, points out,  this applies to any field. For instance, a medical service provider in the Netherlands, is using HPs flexible capacity solution, which “allows them to really step out of any infrastructure-related planning exercise [or] procurement exercise. They can first take their resources to focus on their solution, which will generate value for the hospital. [They’re] not thinking about the infrastructure all the time.”


That starts a virtuous cycle in which they generate cash and can invest in their solution. “They can be faster in the market and build out their solution in a way faster and more compelling way,’ he says.


The secret to what makes firms with the new style IT more disruptive is that they’re not bogged down with maintaining their infrastructure.


That sounds simple, but as Frank points out, it’s often difficult to make the transition because there are security and compliance aspects and “you have to make sure that you are differentiating intellectual property and that it’s kept under control so that you are not running other risks that will hit you in competitive markets,” he says. “It’s a balancing act.”


Whatever the case, older companies need to make the transition. Otherwise, they are subject to competition from hungry startups that aren’t hampered by the demands of maintaining a legacy system but instead – like Uber and Airbnb today – are completely focused on employing their technology to take advantage of new market opportunities.


Are you interested in the story behind the statistics on what defines and sets digital business leaders apart from the lagging peers?  Check out the HP 2015 Report: Profiling infrastructure leaders and get ready to set your sights on outperforming your competition. It’s never too late to improve your customer’s experience or exceed your own expectations. 


Bookmark HP Infrastructure Insights to get the latest updates on HP and the New Style of IT.


[1]HP Research, 2015 Report: Profiling Infrastructure Leaders, February 2015


HP 2015 Report: Profiling infrastructure leaders

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