HP CEO Meg Whitman Says Consumerization of IT Will Define Company
The new CEO of Hewlett-Packard says the future of Hewlett-Packard will be shaped by a consumerization of IT phenomenon that simultaneously plays to the company’s strengths both the enterprise and consumer technology markets.
Speaking at a Global Influencers Summit 2012 conference in Shanghai today, HP CEO Meg Whitman says the company is doubling down on servers and storage and networking, investing in software, cloud computing, security and information management while remaining 100 percent committed to the PC and printer business.
Whitman made a point of the fact that the consumerization of IT requires expertise in both consumer and enterprise technologies and that HP is the only company with enough critical mass to bridge the gap between consumer and enterprise technologies.
As such, Whitman says HP plans to focus its efforts on bring new products to market that appeal to both employees that are consumers and consumers that are employees. The HP difference, she says, will be making all those pieces fit together. All told, Whitman says that HP has an incredible collection of assets and that the PC business is an "essential" part of HP.
HP is working towards consolidating its business and consumer PC product lines following the launch this week of more than 80 PC and printer products, while at the same time gearing up to launch tablet devices for the business market that will run Windows 8. That doesn’t necessarily mean that HP won’t introduce other tablets or for that matter smartphones in the future. But the immediate focus for mobile computing will be on business customers.
In the meantime, Whitman says HP is focusing its corporate efforts on streamlining business processes in ways that will make the company easier to do business with for both customers and partners. To that end Whitman says HP has already centralized marketing and sales operations, while also concentrating decision making in the hands of less people, resulting she says should result in fewer people that can "say no" and more people that are actually empowered to make decisions.
The biggest savings, however, will come from the steps the company is taking to reduce the cost of goods sold and improving its procurement process, which Whitman says accounts for the bulk of the company expenses.
By taking those steps Whitman says HP is creating the financial capability to invest in what she described as a dawn of a new era of innovation that spans both short term and long term projects. For instance, the company just announced a beta program for a public cloud service that leverages the company’s expertise in build over 600 private clouds for customers, while investing in memristor storage technologies that could transform the way systems are designed and built sometime in the 2014 to 2015 timeframe.
Whitman made it a point to say that while HP can’t change the past, she and the board are working closely together to change the future of the company that is much in need of stability after years of executive management turmoil.
She added that HP is proud of being a hardware company and that the company is not investing in software and service to transform HP, but rather address specific customer problems. Whitman says HP Services, in particular, will be focused on delivering solutions around HP products and technologies.
The end result, says Whitman, is a company where not only will branding across all its disparate parts of the company will become more unified, but a company that will be able to compete more effectively as trends towards the consumerization of IT continues to play out.