HP's Léo Apotheker: We're heading to the cloud

In an exclusive interview, HP's new CEO expands on his strategy and offers frank assessments of his competition

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Gallant: So you don't feel that the cloud threatens IT, that ultimately it becomes much easier in many cases for business units or individuals to go around IT to get what they need?

Apotheker: You know, that's a great question.

Gallant: And I think this is what a lot of our readers are wrestling with right now.

Apotheker: Let me put it this way, and I sincerely believe this: Cloud is like any other technology. It can be used in one way or another way and, as we just discussed, cloud can have many iterations and rendering capabilities, private to public. So let's just look at the technology and forget how it's being distributed or commercialized.

The cloud technology is neutral technology. If corporate IT embraces this technology to make it into a real tool to provide information and technology to their own users and use it as a tool to innovate significantly faster, therefore shorten the gap between business and IT, then I think it's going to be a formidable advantage for corporate IT to use the cloud. It will actually give them a whole new lease on life, if I may say so. If they won't, yes, there is a bit of a danger that people will simply give up on 'em, if I may use that expression. And they will still use corporate IT for all of the heavy back-duty, back-office transactional things. And for all the other stuff, they'll try to go around.

Gallant: This is a company that's been through a number of changes over the past decade. You've had a chance before you came in and while you're here to really take a hard look at it. What are the myths or misunderstandings about HP?

Apotheker: I think HP is a company that hasn't done a very good job in selling itself. HP has such a rich collection of assets and such a wide portfolio that it should be used by professionals and consumers alike in a totally different light than the way it's being viewed today. I'm not saying it's being viewed badly, but I think it's being undervalued, and I think we have a great opportunity to put HP where it really belongs.

Knorr: Was that part of the intent of yesterday, when you gave quite a long list of announcements, particularly regarding the cloud, without a lot of details or a very specific timeframe? Is this part of selling HP in a different way?

Apotheker: It's part of making sure people understand which direction HP is going. We want to be transparent so that there are no surprises. And so we will deliver step-by-step all of the things that we talked about -- all of them. It wasn't necessarily the best place to go into lots of detail about every element, or it would have been a 10-day conference with one day per topic. Even then I don't think we might have covered the entire ground. You'll hear us doing this more because I want to make sure that people understand where HP is going and why HP is a great partner for many people.

This article, "HP's Léo Apotheker: We're heading to the cloud," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in business technology news and get a digest of the key stories each day in the InfoWorld Daily newsletter. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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