HP and the IT Services Market

By James West, freelance journalist in IT Services

When one of the biggest organisations in the world decides to set up shop in your market, expect some fireworks. Hardware giant Hewlett Packard (HP) is shaking up IT services with a series of acquisitions designed to give it a market leading position. Starting with the relatively small buy-outs of CEC and ManageOne earlier this year right up to its 168 million proposed takeover of service outsourcing and desktop specialist Synstar, HP is steadily adding the elements it lacks to mount an assault on the services market.

What HP has identified is that IT services and support does not yet have a clear market leader, unlike hardware dominated by IBM and Accenture. There are companies strong at asset management and helpdesk software, some forging ahead with outsourcing and on-site services, while others excel at the consultancy and recruitment side of the market, but no one has the complete package yet. HP has noted that companies of all sizes are realising how much effort is being wasted by keeping IT-related functions separate within the business, and as moves to centralise IT increase in pace, there is room for a major name to win a lot of business.

Now that it has made the decision to target the IT services market, two things will happen. Firstly, money will be spent promoting the market and elevating its worth within the wider business world. Secondly, HP will buy up any skills it cannot find internally, which will lead to further acquisitions. Both actions will help create major exposure for service management and all of us must use any momentum gained to continue to sell ourselves as a key component in business success.