HPE responds to shifts in market dynamics with changes in operating model and leadership

Enterprises are continuing to shift how they use technology to enable their business. Technologies such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence are just two of the most recent catalysts. In addition, CIOs must consider how they consume these new technologies.

Cloud was the first shift that provided a pay-as-you-go model. However, enterprises do not consume technology in only one way. There are still drivers that require resources to remain on premises. This led to private cloud and hybrid cloud solutions.

A brief HPE GreenLake history

Roughly five years ago, in response to these changes, HPE announced HPE GreenLake. GreenLake was HPE’s answer to offer traditional data center resources ‘as-a-service’ to provide the best of both worlds between cloud and traditional data center stacks of servers, storage and networking. At the time, CEO Antonio Neri provocatively proclaimed that all HPE services would eventually be available ‘as a service’. HPE has since completed this task.

Over the past five years, HPE has had great success with GreenLake and continues to evolve both the offering and the number of services it represents. At the same time, enterprises are becoming less interested in managing the underlying resources as they move their teams to focus on higher value outcomes.

Insights into HPE and GreenLake’s next phase

Today, HPE CEO Neri wrote a blog post announcing changes to HPE’s operating model and leadership. On the surface, the changes represent an alignment with how enterprises are themselves shifting to consume computing resources. The HPE changes are a positive move in the right direction.

However, they also represent another, more subtle shift too. Historically, HPE has been focused on the more tech-centric buyer. Those are the folks most interested in improvements to technology and features versus outcomes.

Today’s announcement represents a marked shift by focusing on functional outcomes more than just the individual underlying technology. The new hybrid cloud business unit now led by HPE CTO Fidelma Russoresonates with the need for consolidation. Shifting from traditional business units such as servers and storage to a more consolidated operating model is not only a big deal for HPE from a cultural perspective, but also a move in the right direction. The changes in both organizational alignment and leadership should resound well with customers as they, themselves are needing to make this same change.

A CIO perspective

Over time, the gap between infrastructure vendors and what a CIO focuses on has grown. Today, CIOs are generally less involved with underlying technology features and functionality in favor of outcomes that drive business value. Infrastructure vendors have long since needed to connect the dots and try to close this gap. 

HPE’s move to focus on functional outcomes such as hybrid cloud is a positive move in the right direction. To be clear, it does not close the gap, but does make a significant move to do so. In addition, acquisitions such as that of OpsRamp earlier this year will further HPE’s move to drive toward a more integrated, higher value platform for enterprises.

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