HPE Discover Offers Smörgåsbord of Digital Delights

Wandering around the Transformation Zone at HPE Discover, I was struck by the sheer variety of people and enterprises who are exploring what digital can do for their organisations. Digital infrastructure and data sharing are making a difference to bottom lines and to people’s lives as processes are simplified and connected.

From the global scale of paint manufacturer AkzoNobel and the complexity Flemish public services, to the Fintech start-up and social enterprise project; everyone, it seemed, had a story to tell about how digital is improving performance and fashioning their future.

Public services journey

The journey to digital government for Flanders was as much about culture and mindset as deploying the necessary tools and infrastructure, according to Frank Huynen, HPE Public Sector & Health. In common with many governments, duplication of data is a real bugbear and results in citizens having to record their data with multiple agencies.

Streamlining multiple silos of citizen data into one shared pool in order to deliver a joined-up service where data is shared efficiently and safely was aided by a daily mantra, reported Huynen: “Don’t ask what you already know”.

FSI disruptors

Two FSI disruptors were invited to showcase at Discover. The first, ClauseMatch,  manages and reconciles legal documents into one, easy-to-consume workflow and offers this as a service. “Law firms are interested: it’s something their own internal departments can’t do,” points out Andrew Dare, Chief Technologist, HPE Financial Services UK and Ireland.

Second is Canada-based Obsidian, a Fintech disruptor that automates investor relations through FundBinder, and provides client reporting in the cloud, accessible from a dashboard. “It’s a Salesforce.com for investment managers,” explains founder Lazar Radenovic.

Social enterprise skills 

Attracting attention and plaudits was the Dandelion project, a collaboration between the Australian Department of Human Services and the Danish Specialist People Foundation. The SPF selects and assesses people with Asperger Syndrome Disorder who are then hired by Hewlett Packard Enterprise to work as software testers at the DHS.

Project Dandelion not only has great social value – the project’s founder recently presented the project to the United Nations – but meets a real commercial need. The skills deficit is an impediment for many businesses wishing to embark on the digital journey, and Dandelion is an enterprising way of meeting that as well making digital an inclusive affair.

Impediments to transformation

While Discover 2015 was a showcase for success stories of all shapes, sizes and flavours, there were also plenty of customers looking for inspiration and ways to solve problems.

According to Dare, commonly expressed concerns of FSI customers include: “How do I incorporate the cloud and big data into my business?” and “How do I engage (read ‘deal with’) Fintech disruptors?”

There’s no easy answer but the biggest obstacle is not technical but cultural, Dare believes, and he identifies the following three problems. “Most IT departments resist change. They have a particular demographic, which is keen to preserve the status quo. And it proffers the same old excuses: ‘The regulator won’t like it’ and ‘It’s against the Data protection rules’.”

In fact, Dare contends, “If you scratch against it, you’ll find that it’s not true”. He points to the example of The Leeds Building Society, which last year HPE moved to the cloud. “The regulator loved it. The cloud brings stability and resilience to the infrastructure.”

These are just are a sample of some of the flavours of digital on offer at this year’s HPE Discover. Over the coming weeks, BVEX will be highlighting further use studies of cloud, data analytics, security, employee collaboration and digital innovation.

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Also by Helen Beckett.

welcome-feature-imageHelen Beckett is the Community Manager of the Business Value Exchange.  She has been a writer and editor for over 20 years and takes a particular interest in the challenges facing the Helen Beckett in today’s business climate.