Editor’s note: In this interview, Dennis Stolkey, senior vice president and general manager of the America region, HP Enterprise Services, discusses the way the traditional CIO role is morphing. He also describes a crucial differentiating characteristic among outsourcing service providers and how they can launch innovative services.
SandHill.com: What is the biggest change you see for the CIO role in 2013?
Dennis Stolkey: CIOs will need to be more adaptive. Technology is the key enabler of innovation. Accordingly nearly every C-level executive wants a piece of the ever-shrinking IT budget to enhance their goals, and it falls to the CIO to allocate the IT budget. We see that the “I” in CIO, which traditionally stands for “information,” will be replaced with four other designations, depending on what hat the CIO is wearing at a particular point.
SandHill.com: What are the four designations?
Dennis Stolkey: The first is the Chief Interpretation Officer. This is around the trend for analytics and Big Data services. The second is the Chief Interconnected Officer, which is associated with the growing proliferation of cloud, social media and mobile applications. Third is the Chief Invasion Officer. The threat of cyber-attacks continues to increase and is costing organizations across the globe time and money. The fourth is the Chief Improvement Officer. Business leaders today need applications modernized quickly for cloud and mobile.
SandHill.com: What is the Chief Interpretation Officer’s main challenge around analytics and Big Data?
Dennis Stolkey: Data now is among the world’s most precious raw materials. In many ways it’s the new currency of business and governments. Yet its value depends on how you deal with it. Years ago storage of data was an issue, but technology companies have solved the hardware issue. The real challenge is extracting the data that clients need to be successful, which will catapult them past their competitors.
SandHill.com: How does HP help organizations with this challenge?
Dennis Stolkey: With our purchase of Autonomy, we have the ability to harvest critical information. Companies need to move more toward business intelligence and analytics gained from social media texts and high-volume events. CEOs and CIOs are recognizing such content is largely untapped and ripe for exploit. We leverage a complete information management and analytics suite of offerings to architect the end-to-end information strategies enterprises need to manage, govern and analyze this kind of information and gain insights. We provide information strategy and up-front consulting to align enterprise information, vision and business and agency strategies.
SandHill.com: In your observation, are companies now realizing that they need a strategy up front, or do they just think that they need to buy more tools or outsource to a service provider who will provide the tools?
Dennis Stolkey: It’s a mix. I think that companies are starting to see more need for specialized and targeted marketing. If I think of companies needing tools for potential court cases and employee issues, I think nearly 100 percent of all companies recognize that need because they’ve lived it. When we get into how to increase a company’s ability to market, it’s a different story. About one-third of our clients are at a point where they have a specific marketing campaign coming up and know they want to utilize that unstructured data and start to harvest that information. I think another third have recognized the need but don’t know yet how to solve it. And then final one-third hasn’t started thinking about it.
SandHill.com: You mentioned that with the purchase of Autonomy HP has a greater ability to harvest data. Can you share an example of the harvesting benefits that have come about for a client that they weren’t able to do before HP?
Dennis Stolkey: Sure. NASCAR is harvesting information about their user base that they did not know before, which helps them increase their value to the NASCAR fans. Another of our clients is a large bank that is using harvested information to understand the trends of where their banking clients are going and how they’re thinking. For the government, they use the data to analyze where possible attacks might come from.
SandHill.com: How does HP help the CIO wearing the Chief Interconnected Officer hat?
Dennis Stolkey: We have several services that help organizations deal with the complexity that comes from the growing proliferation of the cloud, social media, mobile applications, and mobile devices. The first is HP testing for mobility, to accelerate the time to market for mobile applications by leveraging automation to reduce the cycle time.
We have several “as a service” highly secure cloud solutions designed for enterprise workloads: applications as a service, communications as a service, disaster recovery as a service, data center infrastructure as a service, security as a service and workplace as a service.
SandHill.com: How does HP help the Chief Invasion Officer / CIO combat cyber-attacks?
Dennis Stolkey: Last month is a good example. We’ve been working our U.S. bank clients, helping them defend against a series of attacks to bring down their networks. Cyber-attacks are the new weapon of the 21st century.
We have managed enterprise security services, which provide complete information security solutions to protect the hybrid enterprise business marketplace. We also have information security management services to deliver a comprehensive approach to managing security policies and processes. And we have HP secure boardroom, which is a comprehensive enterprise-level online portal that combines existing sources of secured data into a central system.
SandHill.com: What about the fourth “I” in the morphing CIO role, the Chief Improvement Officer? What challenges is the CIO facing in this area?
Dennis Stolkey: Business leaders are under increasing pressure to make the cloud and mobility a reality in the enterprise while driving down costs and increasing efficiency. We provide a number of different services to help those organizations with applications that are right for the cloud and to help execute on cloud-focused modernization initiatives.
Through the HP applications transformation to cloud initiative, we help clients decide on which applications should go to the cloud. Also, to help clients extend key enterprise information and business processes anywhere, anytime and throughout all mobile devices, we have HP mobile application services that help enable mobility, help to bring new initiative mobile applications, simplify existing applications and extend them to all mobile devices.
SandHill.com: Outsourcing these four mission-critical business problems will involve relying on the service provider as a trusted advisor. How can companies determine whether the service provider they are considering is the right choice for this crucial work? What is the true differentiator among providers?
Dennis Stolkey: Well, I’d really like to be in the position where I’m telling the client what the selection criteria should be. Usually that’s not the case. But if I were a client instead of the provider, I would look for reliability, price and innovation.
SandHill.com: What do you mean by reliability? Is it something more than consistently delivering according to requirements?
Dennis Stolkey: Reliability is really all about trust. You sign a contract to have services provided based on a certain set of criteria, but the provider really has to deliver much better than that.
I’ll give you an example from when I first learned about the airline business back in the 1990s. I spent the first 30-40 days learning — doing a flight-attendant role on an international flight, handling baggage on the tarmac, taking calls, being a data agent, etc. As a result, we started measuring things not only contractually but also things that were important to the airline, such as how many flight delays or how many passengers didn’t get boarded.
Airlines do things called A, B, C & D checks. Once every eight years they take an aircraft out of service and completely strip it down and X-ray the moving parts and check a lot of things. I was watching the guy removing the rail that holds the seats (aluminum-like I-beams), and he showed me that the one that was by the galley was all corroded. When I asked how it got so corroded, he explained that the flight attendants spill things or there are bumps that cause things to spill, and it erodes the aluminum. He said, “I have to order one of these for every plane that comes in for a C & D check.” And I thought: why not automatically have one there instead of having to order it?
Another example is a large auto manufacturer client of HP. We expanded the measurement of services beyond contractual terms to things like how many cars didn’t get produced in a day because of an IT problem. We were trying to bring to everybody’s mind — not only the client but also our own employees — that when there is an IT problem, it hurts business even if it’s not something that’s contractual. Our employees were so proud of what they were able to accomplish for this client by using this approach.
Once a service provider understands how the client’s business runs, then they can identify different aspects that could save the client money. They can bring things to the table that the client might not have thought about. And that kind of expertise can launch huge innovative ideas that help a client drive better business for their customers.
SandHill.com: For a partnering relationship, the buyer/customer also has to demonstrate certain behaviors. In an HP relationship, what does HP look for in a client to show you that they really are partnering with you?
Dennis Stolkey: That’s certainly the best outcome that we could ask for, where we’re in a partnering type of relationship. Sometimes arrangements aren’t like that; sometimes they’re very contractual. It just depends on the client. The deeper we go into services, the more partnering that’s required. Success then centers on a lot of trust and good leaders communicating openly back and forth with the common goal of helping that client succeed in their marketplace.
Dennis Stolkey is senior vice president and general manager of the Americas region for HP Enterprise Services. He is responsible for accelerating market expansion and driving improved revenue and profit in the Americas region. Previously, he led the U.S. Public Sector business for HP Enterprise Services and was vice president and general manager of the U.S. Government division of EDS, now HP.
Kathleen Goolsby is managing editor of SandHill.com.