Apotheker goes cloud crazy in HP strategy shake-up

HP supremo Leo Apotheker has outlined the firm’s intentions to move further into the software market with a strong emphasis on cloud computing.

It is the first time that Apotheker has outlined a strategy since Mark Hurd resigned last August, with analysts speculating that his main focus will be on revenue growth rather than cost cutting.

This will involve starting a cloud computing service which will allow developers to create applications for consumers as part of a massive cloud-computing drive, as well as planning to put WebOS mobile software onto a broader range of products, with an increase of output to 100 million devices a year.

Apotheker said that he would be seeking a more consolidated approach, with its products working in tandem as it attempts to move into software markets dominated by IBM and Oracle.

“Everything that we do in the future will be delivered as a service,” Apotheker said. “It’s the first time HP is trying to put all of the elements of what it’s doing together.”

This comes after IBM services division chief Mike Daniels aimed some comments squarely at HP’s supposed inability to combine a software and services strategy, as well as pushing aside any suggestions that it faces real competition.

According to Bloomberg analysts also believe that HP should watch out for ploughing too much cash into cloud services, as it requires as it requires a large amount of computing power to deliver software.

“To really take that market on you need to make a big capex investment,” said Jayson Noland at Robert W. Baird & Co.  “It’s an asset heavy approach.”

HP has been making lots of noise about cloud computing, hybridity and virtualisation of late so it will be interesting to see whether the strategy is as effective as Apotheker hopes.