Business and IT battle during the recession

Business IT

Business and IT needs are at loggerheads during the tough economic climate, according to an HP executive.

During an event at the company's new data centre in the North East, Chris Coggrave, data centre and cloud computing managing principal in Europe, claimed that the business side of a company and the IT department are not singing from the same hymn sheet and this needs to change for a firm to succeed.

Acknowledging the problems many companies face in an economic downturn, Coggrave said: "Now more than ever there are significant challenges there for the data centre [with] pressures coming from both the business side and IT side."

He added: "We all understand coming out of the recession... the need to reduce staff, the spend on IT etc and we are also aware of an increase in energy costs. At the same time business is demanding flexibility and agility."

Yet it seems the importance of this may be being lost when it comes to the companies themselves.

"Really the alignment between business and IT is becoming more and more important, it needs to be tight. What we are finding [though] is many areas of IT are immature in making that alignment," Coggrave said.

He compared IT projects within businesses to "the wild west,"in terms of projects being allowed to start up separately but not getting the support and even admitted that HP used to have this attitude.

However, the business sides has its problems too with IT departments not held in the highest regard.

"Linkage between business and IT is broken," he added. "It is like in formula one racing. If you have the best car that is good but doesn't mean you are going to win the race."

"It is about your driver, your processes [and] the team around him. You need all of those in order to achieve success."

HP has been trying to sell the idea of a converged data centre since its launch in November, meaning a fully virtualised system of networking, storage and servers that works as a single pool of resources and can change to fit business needs. However, this can not be achieved with the attitudes that Coggrave has outlined.

Martin Riley, converged infrastructure marketing programnme manager in HP Europe, said: "Where do customers start with a converged system? It is not about do I buy a blade [or] what environment I go for. What we need to do is look at where the customer is in terms of their maturity model. "

He added: "Have you virtualised for example or are you ready for a fully service provided environment? It will change the way you deliver your business so it is not as simple as just buying another blade."

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.