Keeping its promise to continually increase its focus on software, HP has introduced a new suite of software to measure and improve IT performance for enterprise customers.
"We are repositioning our entire portfolio into the HP Performance Suite. We're in a position to cover, end to end, the operational and analytical needs of enterprise IT executives," Marge Breya, general manager for software at HP, told eWEEK.
"This announcement clearly indicates HP's understanding of the role software plays in every enterprise, said Theresa Lanowitz, founder of the Voke industry analysis firm. "Executives at the highest level of an organization know that the software used to run the company is inextricably linked to the brand. Having visibility across the organization, a more proactive management of IT is enabled."
Lanowitz also noted that she believes HP's announcement of the HP IT Performance Suite signals a shift in HP's overall view of the market. "HP's view is shifting from one of products and solutions for a specific group or role within IT to one of a holistic and comprehensive view of the business of IT," she said.
HP officials said IT executives need standardized, efficient tools that measure, benchmark and improve performance. Having a comprehensive view of this performance enables CIOs to deliver what HP calls "an Instant-On Enterprise" that embeds technology in everything it does to serve customers, employees, partners and citizens with everything they need, instantly, the company said.
However, most KPIs (key performance indicators) for IT are collected across disparate systems using different methods. This creates management complexities that can slow responses to shifting priorities and changing market conditions.
"We're going after the silos that exist and negatively impact IT performance management," Breya said.
To do this, HP is implementing a series of scorecards and a series of products tailored to the major professions in IT, Breya said. "The first one is tailored toward the CIO, and we've identified 170 KPIs. However, the first release will have about 50 KPIs," she said.
The HP IT Performance Suite includes the new HP IT Executive Scorecard and helps IT perform better by providing CIOs insight from across a broad range of solutions to manage and optimize application development, infrastructure and operations management, security, information management, and financial planning and administration.
Each product in the HP Software portfolio improves the performance of the discrete IT functions addressed, while the IT Executive Scorecard helps technology executives optimize overall IT investments and outcomes, HP officials said.
The HP IT Executive Scorecard provides visibility into critical performance indicators at cascading levels of IT leadership. Its foundation is the open IT Data Model with built-in capabilities to integrate data from multiple sources, including third-party products, to deliver a single view of IT metrics. Using the scorecard, IT leaders can rapidly measure, benchmark and address performance issues.
"Every CIO needs to do two things: constantly shift resources to support changing enterprise priorities and clearly demonstrate return on IT investment," said Bill Veghte, executive vice president of software at HP, in a statement. "The HP IT Performance Suite is the first software offering that does both, by putting the power of agility into the hands-and budgets-of IT leaders with real-time insight and optimization of IT investments."
Moreover, the IT Performance Suite uses HP's lifecycle approach to software development and management, and integrates industry standards such as the ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library), HP said. In addition, HP research has identified 150 standard, best-in-class KPIs, more than 50 of which are included in the upcoming release of the HP IT Executive Scorecard, the company said.
And with HP's cascading scorecard approach, KPIs are distributed in dashboards that provide real-time, role-based performance insights to technology leadership, allowing alignment across common goals for an entire IT organization.
The upcoming CIO Edition Standard release of the technology includes the Executive Scorecard along with Financial Planning and Analysis, Project and Portfolio Management and Asset Manager modules. This edition automatically integrates data from the modules to provide more than 20 best-practice KPIs covering financial and project health, enabling the optimization of IT performance from a business investment point of view, Breya said.
"Leveraging emerging technologies to drive new business models is becoming my primary focus," Alexander Pasik, CIO of the world's largest technical professional association, IEEE, said in a statement. "The traditional operational aspects of IT must be streamlined and instrumented, and thus measurable, so as to enable this increasingly necessary function. With IEEE's planned implementation of the HP IT Performance Suite, I expect to have, for the first time, one complete view of IT's performance using the indicators that matter most to our business."
"This announcement of the HP IT Performance Suite CIO Edition Standards is a persona-oriented solution," Lanowitz said. "This is a clear indicator that we should expect more of these types of persona-oriented solutions from HP for critical executive roles. The business of IT must be managed effectively to deliver valuable business outcomes. Giving executives the knowledge to make strategic decisions is the next advancement in a lifecycle approach to IT and the business-critical software it delivers."
Meanwhile, as a first step, HP's online CIO and Cloud Assessment tools help clients quickly evaluate their current level of IT Performance Management maturity, HP officials said. HP Strategic Advisory Services are designed to help clients define KPIs based on enterprise priorities and deliver actionable roadmaps to ensure maximum value from the HP IT Performance Suite. HP Solution Consulting Services uses a deep expertise in HP Software products to help clients reduce costs and ease the implementation of the HP IT Performance Suite.
Breya said many of the solutions that make up the IT Performance Suite are available as a service, based on HP's decades-long experience in helping IT professionals rapidly adapt to change, deploy in-house resources more effectively and assure business outcomes for the enterprise.
HP will demonstrate its new IT Performance Suite at the company's premier user and developer event, HP DISCOVER, which runs June 6-10 in Las Vegas. The European version will take place Nov. 29-Dec. 1 in Vienna.
HP pledged to begin making software a major play for the company at its HP Software Universe conference in Barcelona in November 2010. In Barcelona, HP announced HP Application Lifecycle Management 11, a new unified system to manage the application lifecycle, as well as new tools for testing software along with new ALM services, among other things.
Meantime, for its part, HP said people who register now for the new online community Discover Performance at www.hp.com/go/discoverperformance/reg will receive the inaugural edition of Inflexion, a bimonthly online publication that delivers actionable insight from peers, thought leaders and analysts. Community members receive access to exclusive content and analysis with a focus on initiatives that turn IT performance into business success, HP said. Members also will be invited to exclusive webinars and local events.