Ex-HP CIO explains how firm used Box to manage company split

Box was used by HP to manage the split of its businesses

SAN FRANCISCO: The former CIO of HP Software, who is now the current Box CIO, has explained how HP used Box to manage the huge amount of documentation generated while working on the firm’s split.

Paul Chapman, who joined Box in July, told V3 at the BoxWorks 2015 event that Box became the de-facto collaboration platform used to manage the split of HP into Hewlett Packard Enterprises and HP Inc while he was at the company.

“When we started doing the separation at HP, the first thing we did was all jump on Box for the collaboration platform,” he said.

“We chose Box to begin with for the core team but it just organically grew from there so we had thousands of people all working on [the split] inside Box.”

Chapman believes that the use of Box for this sort of work could become another core area for the firm.

“I think there’s a big use case for mergers and acquisitions and separations because you need a central place for everyone to collaborate,” he said.

“You’ve got tons and tons of documentation that’s getting created and that needs to be managed and secured and so on, and you need to be able to access it from anywhere, any time and place.”

This sort of information flow is becoming central to how most businesses operate, and Chapman said that it is important for CIOs and IT managers to take responsibility for how cloud tools are used.

“You have companies saying ‘We don’t support Box’ and then you look under the covers and you have 10,000 people using it,” he said.

“The trick is not how am I going to stop and prevent that, because you’re not going to do that, you have to instead figure out how to embrace it and use it.”

In particular Chapman said he often finds companies embracing the cloud in certain divisions, such as HR, finance and sales, where individual leaders within the business can take responsibility.

However, there is often no-one taking control for the entire use of cloud applications and content management across a businesses as a whole, which is where IT staff need to take charge. 

“Most CIOs are struggling with how to digitise their enterprise. There is a path to digitisation for most areas, like marketing, sales, HR, but there is no path for content because content is not really owned by any single function,” he said.

“The role of the CIO is to say what the strategy is for that ‘middle office’ and move it to a modern architecture built for a cloud and mobile-first environment.”

While Chapman has now left HP, he said he is still “rooting” for the company and that he believes the split was the right decision as it was becoming hard for HP to innovate and move with agility owing to its size.

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30 September 2015 | 1:35 pm – Source: v3.co.uk

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