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Meg Whitman tells IT leaders everything they need to know about HP Enterprise

John Gallant | April 7, 2016
In this installment of the IDG CEO Interview Series, we asked Whitman to talk directly to IT leaders about what the company split means for them as customers, and how HP Enterprise's new innovation agenda will help them transition to private and hybrid cloud.

So this is the million-dollar question, right? It is a big disruption in the industry and the question, to your point, is: Which workloads move on what kind of timeframe and where do they move to? Do they move to the public cloud? Do they move to a virtual or a managed private cloud? Do they move to a private cloud on-prem? And the way you have to look at this, in my view, is application by application and workload by workload. Because there are some workloads that I think will move quite quickly all the way perhaps to a public cloud: Web applications -- customer-facing Web applications that are not mission-critical applications to an enterprise.

There are some applications that frankly will never move. There are applications that are running on mainframes, as you well know, and I don't think they're ever moving anywhere. I mean I'm not quite sure what's going to happen, but a lot of these core banking applications I don't think are ever moving because the cost to move them is too high. So I think it's a continuum.

And it also depends on the industry that you are in. If you are in a customer-facing industry that is lightly regulated, my view is you may move applications faster. If you're in a highly regulated industry, either from a compliance perspective or a data perspective, you will move more slowly. There's no question that this is a trend and we're trying to make sure that we can help customers do what is right for them and for their environment. Hence our partnership with Azure. Customers that want to move some applications to a public cloud, we're not in that business anymore and we have a deep and tight partnership with Microsoft and our view is that you should move to Azure.

You mentioned earlier the differences between employees of certain ages, but HP Enterprise, Dell/EMC, Cisco, don't you all have a millennial issue as well? Any emerging company or younger company, the model is going to be almost completely cloud and increasingly so over time.

Yes. So if you think about new companies that are starting, they're running their IT infrastructure completely differently, and so we have to figure out how we can remain relevant to these young companies. And I'll give you a couple of good examples there in a minute. But the vast majority of the total available market is in legacy infrastructure. I mean by definition, if you've been around more than five years, you have a legacy infrastructure. I think there is a tremendous opportunity for us to help companies with legacy infrastructures migrate to a better place for them, to be able to compete with these new younger companies that maybe have an entirely different infrastructure.

 

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