• United States



by Judith Hurwitz

HP’s Adaptive Management Strategy

Jun 16, 20035 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

HP has defined its approach to the new generation of dynamic response environments as the Adaptive Enterprise. Overall, the company is taking a very business driven approach to leveraging its expertise in systems integration and systems management. The two pillars of HP’s strategy are its foundational OpenView management software platform and its consulting and services organization. These two areas of strength provide a beachhead for the future strategy that will evolve over the next several years. While there is nothing startling new about the strategy, it does begin to address some of the critical issues required in creating a next generation computing platform.

The overall strategy for Adaptive Enterprise is involves three component parts:

  • Architectural platform to support business linkages for cross organizational applications through business process management and a systems management foundation.
  • A Utility Data Center Model
  • A Software Platform and Reference Architecture

Architectural Platform

There are three areas of the strategy that are particularly significant:

  • Business linkages and standardized interfaces
  • Component architectures and modularity
  • Simplicity of implementation

Business Linkages and Standardized Interfaces. Given the implementation orientation of HP’s strategy, it is logical that the company would be focused on standard interfaces. With standard interfaces, implementations are clearly easier. It is especially important for HP since had decided not to own its own middleware stack. Once you have these standardized interfaces, it is critical to be able to dynamically link business components together depending on the objective.

HP’s business process layer maps well to its applications management product offerings. Business process management is necessary to link a diverse set of stove piped applications and services that must be linked together to create cross-organizational business linkages. A primary architectural goal is to provide a repeatable technique for linking the right parts of applications, middleware and processes in order to address a specific business need.

Component Architectures and Modularity. If one looks at HP’s recently announced Darwin Reference Architecture, one begins to see an approach that enables customers to move beyond thinking about building single focused applications to a model that breaks down monolithic applications into reusable components. This is part of the most ambitious aspects of HP’s strategy. In the long run, HP will have to provide a set of offerings that will enable organizations to componentized their applications into a service oriented architecture.

While this will take HP a while to fully implement, the reference architecture is a good starting point. This is an area where HP relies heavily on the expertise of its consulting organization. It has begun to capture “design patterns” – implementation guidelines that have been used repeatedly in engagements. HP has tailored six different solutions focused on telecommunications, financial services, and manufacturing.

Simplicity of Implementation. This is a pragmatic goal. From the services perspective, HP has adopted an approach to help customers by focusing on less cumbersome implementations. It is a pragmatic approach to limit the number of options customers are dealing with. Again, it is an important strategy since HP’s consulting services will be dependent on a lot of third party offerings that it will not control.

Utility Data Center Model. HP is particularly strong when it can rely on its core of hardware infrastructure tied into its network, systems management capabilities. HP has produced a strong offering from a data center management perspective. HP has been building out this capability though its outsourcing business for the past five years. As with other offerings, the utility data center makes extensive use of OpenView.

The Software Platform. HP is making an interesting play with OpenView. HP has taken this management platform and made it the focal point for its adaptive enterprise strategy. Being able to manage a highly distributed component architecture that links partners, suppliers, and customers is one of the most challenging problems facing customers today. Therefore, it is a positive move that HP has made its core software the centerpiece is a good strategy. HP is leveraging the strength of its OpenView platform to create a foundation for a component architectural approach to dynamic response. In many ways this could be very compelling. When you look at the need to create a seamless connection between customers, suppliers, and partners, management is imperative.

Without assurance that the piece parts are managed, the environment will not work. HP has taken OpenView from a collection of products under a marketing banner and created an architected management platform. Over the past few years the company has done a good job gaining a large number of third party vendors to support OpenView which should serve it well as it moves into an enterprise business and technology strategy.


HP has made a good first step at providing a business focused strategy that leverages its strengths in consulting, outsourcing, systems integration, and management software. HP has had considerable experience in creating and managing utility data centers that is beginning to pay off. Component architectures combined with a business process management orientation is a good strategic direction based on customer issues. HP will need to continue to fill out the reference architecture with more software and services needed to make true dynamic response a reality.