Despite the fact that HP's recent IT consolidation slowed down research and development for almost three years, the bitter pill needed to be taken, according to a senior VP.
The company is just finishing a major IT transformation, including consolidating its datacentres into just a handful based in the US, as well as standardising its data so that queries made from anywhere in the world return the same answer.
The transformation has taken three years — necessitated by the complex nature of the firm's IT after the company's Compaq acquisition, according to HP senior VP and general manager Business Critical Systems Martin Fink, speaking yesterday at HP's Asia Pacific and Japan Executive Forum conference in Bali.
The situation was exacerbated because Compaq itself was not streamlined following its own acquisitions of Tandem and Digital, he said.
During the transformation, research and development plans had to be put on the back burner, according to Fink. "Every dollar that gets allocated to the IT P&L [profit and loss] is a dollar I can't spend on R&D," he said.
The result: a knock on to some scheduled projects. "It delayed some things we wanted to do sooner," he said.
However, the transformation was necessary, according to Fink: "Our IT was in such a state that any project we would like to do would have taken much longer," he said.
The next IT revamp should be a while in the future, Fink said, as the infrastructure is estimated to last until HP becomes a US$200 billion dollar company — roughly double its current worth.
Suzanne Tindal travelled to Bali as a guest of HP