Meg Whitman, CEO of HP Addresses IT Professionals at Discover 2012

In a conference room filled predominantly by males in the Information Technology industry, a woman stands before the thousands of listening ears and looking eyes. This woman, Meg Whitman, has had a past of working for some of the best companies such as Proctor and Gamble, Walt Disney and Ebay. In some cases, the companies were already well established and well known but in the case of Ebay, she took the company from a smaller company making millions to now billions of dollars annually in revenue.

Meg Whitman as CEO of HP, has only been with the company for eight months, but already she has a vision of where to take the company. She told us of how HP makes a difference and this goes along with the Discover 2012 Conference’s slogan, “Make it matter.” She outlined how HP has helped the UK Ministry of Defence. Information Technology experts actually volunteer for this “mission” and put on bullet-proof vests to be in field operations with the soldiers such as they have done in Afghanistan. The purpose is to help the UK Ministry develop strategies on how better technology can serve the military. This HP difference makes them different as a corporate company and citizen.

Ms. Whitman spoke of the tectonic plates of the IT industry moving. With this in mind, she reminded the IT people that the industry needs to become more open and ubiquitous. From the cloud, to social media, to data storage, to security, to speed, to agility and to costs, these are all factors and considerations for this company.

Meg Whitman challenges the CIO to deal with the changing landscape. The market place and the current models are changing. To orchestrate the information flow and open the architectural systems, the CIO has to strategize and Meg Whitman points how HP can be the one to do this. She spoke of a four pronged attack of 1) Solutions 2) Service 3) Software and 4) Infrastructure. Meg Whitman gives another example where they helped the Bank of India over a 5 year period to return a 200% increase.

The CEO spoke of how IT is more than the sum of the parts but an aggregate of its resources. With the cloud, security and information optimization, HP can help companies capture the future. HP will help the company to pick a delivery model to help them deal with their changing needs. Meg Whitman finishes off with speaking of that in times of crisis, such as the flooding in Christchurch, the earthquake in Japan and other disasters, HP was there to help and continue to “make it matter.”

Chris Anderson Challenges IT Specialists – Opening of HP Conference – Discover 2012

HP starts off its conference, Discover 2012 in Las Vegas, with a host who is no surprise to the computer world. He is Raj – ajesh Koothrappali who is really Kunal Nayyar from the Big Bang Theory. As he admittedly speaks of playing a genius but not really being one, he acknowledges and appreciates the work done by the computer geniuses in the audience and particularly of HP (Hewlett Packard).

Kunal sees how throughout history, people have been satisfied with the progress that humanity has made through life relative to accomplishments of the time but how someone comes along to see how technology can better the human race in ways that they have not had the chance to conceptualize of yet. These computer geniuses see a way of using technology and its applications for the betterment of humanity and are always striving to make life easier or better in some respect.

Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief, of Wired Magazine at HP Conference, Discover 2012.

Such is the case when, Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine takes the stand as keynote speaker of the Discover 2012 HP Conference. As he stands as an observer and commentator of the computer realm for quite some time, he sees how consumerism running the dictate of the future world of computer applications in the work environment and challenges big corporations or employers to keep up.

He comes up with 10 points which some debate are not a realistic application of what can be done. However, he makes his point so that people can reflect and possibly implement some changes as we start to deal with graduates who have only have lived in the digital age. They speak another languge and unlike the preceding generations are so very comfortable with the changes of the internet and computer applications. They speak another language unlike the generations in most cases oblivious to how computers worked and operated, requiring to be taught in steps along the way as each generation of computers became more accessible, affordable and useable. (This does not, of course, include the computer experts who spoke in really difficult languages and code while making calculations with sliding rules and then had to use punch cards to put through their commands.)

He makes 10 points which are outlined as follows:

  1. Mobility in terms of Tablettes
  • What he says here is that people should be able to share ideas on the spur of the moment. Tablettes allow this ability. This capability, unlike past needs of having to find an office space or a white board to work on to continue a discussion of ideas interrupted the flow of ideas and required more resources.
  1. Openess
  • What Chris says is that we can not truncate the progress being made here. We have to keep open to allow various points of view that impact our products as we develop them. Many beta versions are tested by users and so this is the case with the future development of programs, apps and products.
  1. Technology is a Personal Statement
  • Chris indicates that people are dictated by the fashions of technology. He says that just because the corporate environment has decided on a direction, this does not mean that it is the right one. He indicates, for example, the the phone or tablette indicates who you are. He says that people see the technology is a personal reflection of them and so they are particular and quite specific as to what they will accept. He thinks the corporate environment should be open to letting people decide what they want.
  1. Feather Applications
  • Chris speaks of an application being focussed and offering one type of service. He says it is not of any sense for a company trying to be of all things to all people. It is more important that an app be developed to deal with a certain area and do it extremely well. It is important to be focussed and not diverted in attention or diverse in areas.
  1. Cloud
  • Chris speaks of the need to reconnect all our resources by having them up in the cloud. He speaks of the connectedness of the world and the many applications. This is only common sense and connects with the next point.
  1. Sync (Drop Box)
  • Quite simply, this is a way of using resources to ensure everyone is contributing to the project. No longer do you need to monitor the effect of each individual’s contributions, as this is added automatically in a program like a Drop Box program. I am not sure he is saying get rid of GANTT charts and the long term visions with short term goals, but he is saying that there is a way to have people contribute in a timely way and this is automatically reflected by their respective contributions.
  1. Social Media
  • Who can say that Social Media is not an effect on today’s world? Although Facebook and Twitter are huge on the world scale, there are other social media operations that could be used internally. Chris is saying, “Use the one to your advantage that makes the most sense for your operations.”
  1. Unstructured in a Structured Way
  • This is a view of the new generation of people. Younger people are not as structured as our predecessors were. He gives the example of his robotics company where he found a protegé of 18 years old who was not a high-ivy league graduate but who was a mastermind in robotics. He indicates that in the “old days,” 10 years ago, he would have never made the cut but today he does. “It is a different world.”
  1. Security, Trust and Scale Matters
  • Chris compares how his corporate enterprise restricts his email capabilities and so he turns to Google for Gmail. Why? Because it is attacked all the time but that they have the best people, men and women, who are constantly testing and protecting the resources. He chooses to go with consumer products that are protected and effective rather than the corporate restrictions of his own company.
  1. Blurred Lines = “Wherever you are, there you are…”
  • Honestly, I feel as if I am speaking to a Newfie. For those of you who are not Canadian, it simply means there is profound logic from someone in Newfloundland. They have logical sayings like that, that stand the test of time – “Wherever you are, there you are.” It does not matter, it simply means that you are connected all the time and that you carry your career or identity with you.

The above 10 points speak of the changing forces within the IT industry and the blurring lines of work and a passion of interests. People are no longer separating their professions but carry this identity with them as they work, live and play throughout life.

Chris Anderson, as Wired Editor, has made an impact in his statement and for all the corporate structured Information Technology Experts, he is challenging to change the work environment to accommodate the client wants as they are more knowledgeable of the capabilities and limitations of what they want to do and to accomplish.

The question is, can or will the corporate world let this really happen for various important reasons? Plus, does it really make logical sense to do this or is his mind up in the clouds and not based on what really happens in a corporate world structure?