At Discover 2011, HP’s annual user conference being held in Las Vegas, the company launched new software that measures “everything IT does”. The IT Performance Suite can answer a range of questions such as comparisons of IT capex versus opex, whether service level agreements have been met, the average time for introducing a new service or project, and whether systems are up and running. It can be a powerful tool for CIOs to demonstrate the value of IT. “This will provide an incredibly powerful communication mechanism [for IT], rather than running around with spreadsheets and creating another PowerPoint that you then put before the board,” says Piet Loubser, senior director product marketing at HP. The software measures the business value that IT generates, he says. The goal is to provide “a seamless, secure, context-aware experience for the connected ICT executive”. Loubser says the report generated by the software may not be “the best publicity for the IT organisation”, but business executives already know when IT service has been dropping because they are experiencing it. The first release of the CIO edition of the software contains more than 50 KPIs and a scorecard for financial planning and analysis, project and portfolio management, along with asset management. “We can bring data from different areas, but bring performance data to the top,” says Loubser. “When you start correlating data from different silos is when you strike gold.” He says this is a better way to communicate the value of IT with the business executives. “We have to be transparent and open, and provide people with insight. It is far better for us to communicate the truth in a common language,” he says. “If people disagree with it, we can go back and analyse the data and we can agree that the KPI or the goal needs to be measured differently.” “IT can no longer withhold the transparency from the business,” he says. “Business wants it, business is going to get it. If we don’t give it to them, they will find another way to do this.” He cites a scenario where the CIO goes to a meeting with a spreadsheet and the business executives have their own spreadsheet with the number of calls logged and outages. “That is the worst thing that can happen to an organisation, when business and IT are fighting each other instead of working together.” Divina Paredes attended the Discover 2011 in Las Vegas as a guest of HP.
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