Jump to content United States-English
HP.com Home Products and Services Support and Drivers Solutions How to Buy
» Contact HP

HP.com home

June 2004

Creating a more agile future

Mathematical modeling could help businesses more accurately determine IT needs


HP Labs

» Research
» News and events
» Technical reports
» About HP Labs
» Careers @ HP Labs
» Worldwide sites
» Downloads
Content starts here

There will always be a need for business agility -- to deal with mergers, more customers, fewer customers, new product lines, unforeseen international events . . . just about anything, anytime.

It’s a dynamic world. Factors that affect companies change constantly and defining what is necessary to keep a business agile, for which HP already has an excellent reputation, is difficult. Researchers at HP Laboratories are investigating methods to make the analysis of a business’s agility requirements yet more accurate in the future.

The researchers -- Chris Tofts, Richard Taylor and Mike Yearworth, all of HP Labs Bristol – are looking into rigorous mathematical techniques that will lead to more accurate definitions of business agility in the years to come.

Tofts, a Labs principal consultant, mathematician and expert in business-modeling techniques, is speaking at an EEMA (the independent European association for e-business) conference on adaptive IT, on June 23 in London.

In his talk, Developing a Business Case for IT: Justifying the Return on IT Investment, he explains the thinking behind the group’s work.

"For any company, agility is important; it’s like having insurance to enable them to adapt to changing business needs. But it has to be the right level of agility," says Tofts.

Companies need the business agility solutions that best suit their requirements. A construction company, say, which has fairly predictable variations, year in, year out, may not need to invest in the same level of business agility as, for instance, a financial services firm that has to adjust to volatile markets, or a retailer that attracts many new customers through marketing campaigns. After all, higher levels of business agility require more robust and complex IT systems, and that costs.

"If your house is built on the side of a mountain you are likely to need insurance against wind damage but you don’t need to insure against flooding: you opt for appropriate cover. Our aim is to develop agility assessments that are more accurate than exist today and which can take account of higher levels of complexity," says Tofts.

His talk at the EEMA conference includes an outline of return on investment in IT -- how to calculate a return on agility. This is centered on what a client company needs in terms of IT, where in its business it needs to focus on agility and what these capabilities are worth: What are the costs and what are the benefits.

According to Tofts it is relatively easy to work out the costs to a customer of IT but much harder to quantify the benefits. There is a need, he says, for customers to understand what their business actually needs in terms of IT and agility.

HP is strongly represented at the EEMA conference: HP software vice-president Peter Vanderfluit is giving the keynote address; Ian Curtis, director of UK enterprise marketing, hosts a vendor panel; and HP will also be running a tutorial on Adaptive IT and enterprise. HP is a platinum sponsor of the conference.


Related links

» Model-based analysis research
» HP Adaptive Infrastructure

News and events

» Recent news stories
» Archived news stories

Printable version
Privacy statement Using this site means you accept its terms Feedback to HP Labs
© 2009 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.