During the recent HP Discover conference in Barcelona, I happened to sit in on a couple of excellent panel sessions. I recorded audio from them, which is usually just for my own note-taking reasons, but occasionally something really good happens and is worth sharing.
Architecting the Future of HP IT
The first such session was a surprise. Titled Architecting the Future of HP IT: an IT Leadership Panel, it sounds like it’d be a dull, buzzword-laden wank fest, as these things usually are. I’m not entirely clear on why I chose to go to it in the first place, but I’m glad I did. The panel was mostly Q&A, with a relatively brief introduction section to set the scene. Mercifully, the introduction actually contained useful information, rather than mindless platitudes.
I’ve posted the audio over at YouTube here Architecting the Future of HP IT: an IT Leadership Panel, and it’s well worth a listen. I particularly liked it because it confirmed a bunch of my own biases about how IT needs to change to become more about the business and less about shiny widgets. It reinforces the themes I’ve been banging on about for years now: IT needs to understand sales and marketing better; have people who understand people and process, not just tech; get people from outside IT to help you, by secondment or by hiring.
All of these things are present in the way HP IT talk about the way they do things. They showed a particularly gratifying level of humble self-awareness that every other IT department would do well to emulate.
HP Cloud Coffee Talk
The blogger “coffee talk” panel with the HP cloud folks was a feisty session from the outset. On the one hand, we had some largely practitioner enterprise IT type folks on the blogger side, and on the HP cloud side we had some people who have been marinading in OpenStack/cloud/DevOps-All-The-Things KoolAid.
It makes for some fascinating listening, which is basically all I did the whole time, aside from making snarky comments on Twitter.
Compare and contrast the points of view espoused in this panel with those from the HP IT panel above. You’ll see two very different views on how enterprise IT should be run. There are overlaps of common practice, but more different than there is sameness. The excitement and energy of the cloud folk is palpable, compared to the more measured tones of the HP IT management. Maybe it’s an age thing, I dunno.
For my money, the point of view from the cloud folks is too much navel gazing and IT-centric. It’s symptomatic of tech folk who spend too much time hanging out with other tech people and not enough time with the people out there who build and sell products or services that aren’t IT. Which is most of them. IT is helpful, but it’s not the main game.