Strategic Tech Slideshow: HP's Outlook: 10 Things CIOs Need to KnowBy Don Reisinger | Posted 08-24-2012
For years, HP has been dogged by low margins in the computing space. It's a major problem for HP - and might make it question its reliance upon PCs.
Consumers Dont Care
Although HP sells boatloads of PCs every year - claiming a 15.5 percent worldwide market share according to IDC figures -- the brand arguably lacks cache among consumers. In the BYOD era, that could have a negative affect on its enterprise performance as well
With the acquisition of Palm and its webOS platform, HP tried to capitalize on the growing mobile market without much success. After turning webOS into an open-source platform, HP is now rumored to be spinning the WebOS operations into a separate company, reportedly called Gram.
Since 2010, HP's CEO office has had a revolving door. That's when Mark Hurd, who had held the position for five years, left the company. Leo Apotheker spent a brief stint in the CEO chair before being replaced in September 2011 by Meg Whitman. And although she has brought some stability to the CEO role, Whitman's done nothing yet to prove HP's worst times are behind it.
From PCs to cloud computing to IT services, HP has a hand in many markets. Is that a good thing? The more moving parts, the harder it'll be for HP to stay relevant in all of those markets. Maybe HP is simply too big for its own good.
HP's board of directors could be one of the most ineffective governing bodies in the technology industry. The board failed in its attempts to bring on effective CEOs until it hired Whitman and now doesn't seem to understand the value of its stewardship in the marketplace.
With BYOD becoming increasingly common at work, HP's products - which haven't captured consumer hearts and minds in the way that Apple's devices have - run the risk of being pushed aside. HP will have to keep a close eye on BYOD in the coming months.
HP, like Dell, Microsoft, and so many other companies, desperately wants to control the cloud. However, so far, the company hasn't done anything of the sort. In fact, the cloud is very much up for grabs. And until HP can make some headway in changing that, it could find itself in a difficult position.
Microsoft: The Good And Bad
There's no debating that HP needs Microsoft in order to survive in today's PC market. But the company's strong relationship with Microsoft is also holding it back. For example, analysts say that the impending debut of Windows 8 is having a chilling effect on PC sales in general. And, save for Windows, Microsoft doesn't have a product available today that's taking customers by storm.
It's not immediately clear what HP is all about. Sure, the company wants to sell PCs and deliver enterprise services, but what exactly is its "brand"? What makes HP special? How can it be differentiated from Dell? So far, Whitman hasn't figured these things out.