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Software keynote at Discover: The next generation of IT


markpottskeynote.JPGBy Brian McDonough, Discover Performance Managing Editor


Mark Potts, CTO of HP Software, took the stage in a large fifth-floor ballroom to discuss the future of IT and the way HP is evolving to meet it. If there was a single theme to be drawn from a 50-minute presentation that brought a number of HP execs to the stage, it was the fragmentary nature of the IT journey ahead of us. 


Hybrid delivery was at the foundation of much of what he said, but what showed through was the multiple options that a hybrid world brings also mean that there's no one way forward for every IT enterprise.  Potts' talk promised a world in which IT leaders can chart their own course, but can unify the solutions they choose to get more out of their IT.


Forces of chaos

Potts started by listing the disruptive forces he sees driving enterprises into the next generation of IT.


“Most of our customers say they struggle to keep up with the demands of the business,” he said.  “Fifty-seven percent of CIOs tell us they don't have the capacity to deliver on the needs of the business.” 


He said the second disruptor is big data.  “When we look at most organizations, they're starting to drown under the weight of all the data they have to manage,” he said.  Machine data, operational data, structured data from databases, unstructured data from email, instant messaging, video, social media and more—it's more than an enterprise can handle, and the volume is only increasing.


“And the third area is risk,” Potts said, noting that HP is taking a broader definition of that term.  “Usually 'risk' means 'security,' but CIOs want to take a more holistic view.”  He talked about compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA and more, and then threw in privacy to boot.  As workloads and data move into the cloud, it's critical to maintain privacy of customer or corporate information.


Choose your own adventure

“Many of our customers have started on their journeys.  There are many paths to the next generation of IT,” he said.  Many are focused on test and dev and will get to the next generation from there.  Others are cloud-enabling their data centers or using the cloud to provide new revenue streams. 


HP's triple focus going forward, then, will be on cloud/hybrid, security and information, and these will be the themes around which HP Software will particularly develop its portfolio.  Further, he described two specific agendas that will drive HP Software, because the company sees these as the issues that drive enterprises.

  1. The changing nature of applications.  “Apps are morphing to composite, hybrid apps,” he said.  “This means applications are becoming a combination of functionality ... in the data center and in the cloud, integrated together.  And of course you have to offer a mobile experience to your customers or end users.”
  2. Converged infrastructure.  “We don't think the traditional physical environment is going away any time soon,” he said, but CIOs will be managing not only that familiar environment, but cloud environments as well.


There are a few reasons talk like this will make today's CIO nervous, and Potts targeted one of them head-on: security.  In keeping with his definition of risk, he said security should be pulled out of its familiar silo.  He talked about a holistic view of risk that aggregates compliance, privacy and issues of security vulnerability.


He also talked about the pressure mobile applications creates, and the need for management to evolve.  “Management apps that we have are going to have to be not just offered as licensed products, but offered in terms of managed services and sets—management as a service,” he said.  “Multiple delivery models to fit how you're going to manage your environment.”


Which, I thought, tied in with the core theme of his talk, that the next generation of IT will not be a one-size-fits-all vision.  The many opportunities and pressures will create a world in which IT leaders have to be flexible and versatile, while seeking a level of simplicity and visibility across all IT offerings.  He noted that HP's IT Performance Suite is adding more than 25 new KPIs and goals that address the objectives that are critical to hybrid delivery.


This is without even going into specific cloud and DevOps discussions, or the live ALM demo, delivered by HP execs whom Potts brought onstage during his address.  These only underscored the multifaceted nature of “next-gen” IT that was my key high-level takeaway. If you were there, what struck you most about his presentation—and whether you were there or not, how does the next generation of IT look to you?


To read more about what’s going on at Discover sessions visit the Discover Insider blog.

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