HP's Denzel Urges IT To Act Now For Adaptive Enterprise

If a company wants to synchronize its IT infrastructure with its business, it should start working now, a Hewlett-Packard executive said Monday.

"You don't buy an Adaptive Enterprise, you build one," said Nora Denzel, senior vice president and general manager of HP's Adaptive Enterprise Software unit.

In her Monday keynote address at the HP Software Forum in Montreal, Denzel outlined some general design principles--what she called "the heavy lifting"--required to transform IT from the static, infrastructure-focused compute environment of today to HP's Adaptive Enterprise state where "business and IT are synchronized to capitalize on change."

Denzel said it would take anywhere from three to five years for true Adaptive Enterprise IT/business networks to arrive.

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Simplification, standardization, modularity and integration each need to be embraced by IT as it works toward Adaptive Enterprise. "The next three to five years are all about these design principles," said Denzel.

Simplification is a matter of paring away at unnecessary IT payload"reducing or consolidating the number of applications being used, Denzel said. Standardization should go beyond merely standardizing on commoditized processors, chipsets and operating systems and extend to a standardization of IT processes in preparation for their interconnection with separate business departments and partners, she said.

As for modularity, Denzel urged IT to begin creating networked storage grids and to virtualize as many parts of the network as possible. "As soon as you go from the physical to the virtual, you increase your network's agility," she said.

The final design principle, integration, takes place when IT is finally linked with business and Adaptive Enterprise is achieved, she said.

Listening to Denzel talk about adhering to design principles sounded like service revenue to Jim Mastalerz, regional solution service manager at Advizex Technologies, an HP solution provider partner in Burlington, Mass. "There's a huge service opportunity in diagnosing the network steps to build out Adaptive [Enterprise]," he said.

Denzel closed by saying it was HP's goal to over time roll out the necessary tools to achieve Adaptive Enterprise by way of the company's OpenView management software, which will cover business, IT service, application and infrastructure management. With OpenView, preventing IT problems will ultimately garnish more rewards than solving IT problems, she said.

"We are going to get out of IT hero worship. You know that guy who comes in and stays up all night to put out an IT fire?" she said. "Soon, you'll actually be rewarded for putting out the fire in the first place."

As part of its Adaptive Enterprise effort, Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP is set to formally introduce a number of product additions to its HP OpenView IT management platform at its software forum this week, as well as an ISV partner program. See related story.