HP acquiring Autonomy Raises Visibility for Information Management

By Rich Blank posted 08-19-2011 18:15

  

Hearing the news of HP acquiring Autonomy for $10 billion is definitely an indication of the importance of information management.  HP CEO Leo Apotheker said in an earnings call that he plans to “transform” HP to focus on the “enterprise information management space.”    While companies like EMC have been focusing on information management for some time, it's great to see one of the largest tech companies like HP make IM a strategic focus.   Whether or not they can convince businesses or Wall Street that information management is strategically important remains to be seen.  

It's no secret that unstructured information continues to grow and many large organizations have every ECM vendor under the sun and lack standards in information management and platforms.  Much of that growth has been poorly governed and managed resulting in a mish-mash of disparate applications and repositories that don't talk to each other, have different object and security models, redundant profiles and licensing, and simply cost too much to maintain and administer.    

SharePoint has been the elephant that everyone has been talking about.   SharePoint's growth is largely based on simple economics --- organizations realized they can sunset legacy ECM apps and save money.   Yet, not every organization that has SharePoint recognizes the strategic importance of an information management platform.  We continue to see organizations who have SharePoint but continue to look at other vendors continuing the mish-mash and mess.    They have no organizational information management strategy.   They have no focus of standardizing on a single platform and viewing and information management system as a strategic asset on the same level as an ERP system.   They also lack the understanding that information management is foundational and fundamental to the future of information work and worker productivity.  

What's needed is a holistic vision when it comes to the future of work and the collaborative information management ecosystem that supports it.   Managing the information is one thing, but it is what you do with the information, how you collaborate, socialize it, analyze it, etc.. is where the real business value lies.   Right now Microsoft is one of the only vendors that provides that "collaborative information management ecosystem" at a reasonable economic value.   If Microsoft isn't part of your plan -- so be it.  However, no vendor can really provide similar economic value in terms of collaboration and information management capabilities within a true ecosystem.  Until that happens SharePoint will continue to grow and implant itself for the next decade.  

Perhaps HP might be able to deliver a set of information management software and services that rivals Microsoft.  Perhaps not....However, I'm hoping that HP's recent acquisition is a signal to the C-level executives to wake up and commit dollars and resources towards project and change management efforts,  developing sound information management strategies, valuing organizations like AIIM for their guidance and certifications, and finally standardizing on a collaborative information management platform.   



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