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By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 09-27-2011

10 Things CIOs Need to Know About HP CEO Meg Whitman

More of the same?Incoming CEO Meg Whitman has stated that HP will move forward with the strategies put in motion by ousted CEO Leo Apotheker. She said that the company will focus on software and solutions, and will evaluate what to do with its PC business.

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HP's PC business is in jeopardyWhitman has said that she might continue with Apotheker's plan to spin off HP's PC business. If she follows through with the plan, it could prove disastrous for enterprise customers, particularly those that that have made large HP purchases.

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Say good-bye to TouchPadAlthough it experienced a sales surge after being discontinued and severely discounted, HP's TouchPad will not be making a comeback. It seems Whitman wants to turn her back on the hugely popular mobile space for now as she works to reestablish HP's fundamentals.

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Consumer focusApotheker was a longstanding enterprise technology executive, but Whitman's roots are in consumer and online services. Whether she'll attempt to shift HP's priorities toward the consumer marketplace remains to be seen. That's the market she knows -- and some analysts say it's the market with the most profit potential for HP.

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Enterprise softwareThat said, Whitman has already said that her strategy includes turning HP's software and solutions into staples of the corporate world. It would be nice if PCs were also included in that strategy.

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Time to rebuildOver the next few years, expect HP to undergo a major restructuring. Meanwhile, CIOs will need to keep a close eye on HP's changing strategy to see if it remains consistent with enterprise technology needs.

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Long-term changesWhitman still needs to determine where the company stands, and has to find the right people to implement her strategies. So, at least over the next few months, CIOs shouldn't expect many drastic changes to occur at HP.

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WebOS might still matterEven during its short lifetime, WebOS -- HP's mobile operating platform -- showed some promise. Depending on how much Whitman wants to bet on software, WebOS could very well become a key component in her plans to position HP for consumers and enterprise users.

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Trust?As a CIO, you're probably worried about HP right now. The company is on its third CEO in 13 months, and its rapid decisions and drastic measures might make you doubt its intentions. That's understandable. And Whitman has yet to implement any changes. Learning to trust HP again might take some time.

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There are no simple answersHP's PC business is in turmoil, its mobile business has been gutted, and there's no telling if the plans to focus to on software and solutions will pay off. Unfortunately for Whitman and all other stakeholders, there are no simple ways to fix this company.