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HP Beefs Up Consulting To Help Clients Better Align IT And Business Strategies

HP on Monday introduced a package of a half-dozen IT consulting services whose goal is to help client firms better align their business and IT strategies. The HP Strategic IT Advisory Services portfolio is designed to help CIOs better achieve business goals through effective use of information technology. "We view there to be a gap between business consulting and technology consulting. There's been a lot of talk in the past about business-IT alignment, and we view that as critical," says Brad Bonsack, VP and managing partner of Strategic IT Advisory Services within HP Technology Consulting.

Increasingly, companies are being judged on the value that their IT assets contribute to the business, Bonsack says, citing a Gartner study, and CIO compensation at Global 2000 companies is increasingly determined by what new revenue-generating services are enabled by IT. HP has been building a deep bench of consulting talent for delivery of these new services, including recruiting talent from some of the Big Four consulting firms, he says.

The portfolio offers some services HP had already been providing but also includes some new ones:

  1. 1) IT Strategy and Transformation helps clients create a comprehensive new IT strategy and plan a roadmap to undertake the transformation.
  2. 2) Strategic Service Management helps clients analyze, plan and document how their organization can design IT services to drive business value.
  3. 3) Enterprise Architecture assists companies in establishing and managing governance, data integrity and assurance policies. In some cases, HP is called in to fix an IT initiative a company has started but failed to implement successfully, says Elizabeth Roche, a strategist in worldwide portfolio management at HP Technology Consulting. "We worked with a major airline not too long ago that had made a massive investment in SOA--service-oriented architecture. They had gotten pretty lax on some of the governance, and they were left with a big hairball that was almost as bad as when they first embarked on SOA," Roche says.
  4. 4) Business Value of IT helps clients realize the monetary value of IT improvements by collecting relevant data associated with IT processes that helps justify the new IT investment.
  5. 5) Cloud Business Readiness helps clients sort out various cloud options like public or private
    cloud adoption, and compare software-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service
    and infrastructure-as-a-service options. No discussion of enterprise IT is complete without a discussion of cloud computing, but that "cloud is not necessarily the answer to every question," she says.
  6. 6) Mergers and Acquisitions is a new service that was requested by many clients who want an assessment of the state of the IT assets of companies they are considering acquiring. "Clients who are considering M&A can engage us to do pre-deal due diligence, understand all aspects of the IT integration and help them put a price tag on it," Roche says. "We can also do the actual program management of the integration to make sure that they fully realize the value of what they've acquired."

The M&A service is based on consultants' knowledge of IT integration as well as HP's own experience integrating the many companies it has acquired over the years, she says. These companies include 3Com, EDS and Compaq Computer.

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