HP set to unveil IT shared services offering

Leveraging its intimate knowledge of enterprise infrastructure, Hewlett-Packard will announce on Wednesday, IT Shared Services Portfolio, a two-part offering that industry analysts say will raise the level of its consulting services.

For customers who want to move from the traditional siloed IT systems to a shared service model that consolidates IT functions from across the enterprise, HP will offer IT Shared Service Transformation Services, said Joachim Frank, vice president, Enterprise Infrastructure Practice, HP Services.

"In effect IT becomes an internal service provider," Frank said.

A second offering, the Shared Services Utility Portfolio, offers a more gradual approach. The first two shared service utilities will be for development and test environments and Microsoft Exchange.

Forty percent of all IT infrastructure is used for test and development rather than in production. With almost half of that development environment underutilized optimizing the infrastructure through a shared service model for test and development is "low-hanging fruit," Frank said.

Following the first two utility offerings, HP will roll out additional shared service utilities for databases and applications.

John Madden, practice director, enterprise services strategies at Summit Strategies said that in the past HP never had offerings like this and the fact that it developed its own proprietary methodology and tools for shared services is significant.

"The thrust is around planning and a shared service road map, but they are leaning on their infrastructure expertise," said Madden.

According to Madden, changing IT over to a shared service model is not an easy task, requiring changes in business processes, infrastructure, and how business and IT personnel in an organization work together.

The end result, however, should be greater degree of flexibility in instituting business changes, more manageable costs and greater control.

Shared services also holds the promise of increasing the enterprise's ability to integrate data across separate application silos.

"You break down the applications and infrastructure into service components," Frank said.

IT Shared Services Portfolio will become available on May 24.

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