Three questions: Stuart Bladen, HP Enterprise Services

Each week we'll be asking three questions of chief technology officers and other high-profile decision-makers. Answering today is Stuart Bladen, vice president of application services at Hewlett-Packard's business development unit, HP Enterprise Services.

What's your biggest technology problem right now?

Image caption Stuart Bladen works at HP Enterprise Services and is chairman of Vistorm

The ballooning costs of standing still.

I go home and I'm a consumer like everyone else. My kids have iPhones and iPads and Android phones. I feel old when I look at Facebook and Twitter. I have to understand it, but I'm an immigrant to that world.

They use technology that is individually driven. In the business world, it is still very much a top-down approach to IT and technology.

I can remember when software for government departments cost $20,000 a unit, and now today's software is around $1,000 to $2,000 a unit. There are huge economies of scale going on now that there weren't before.

What's the next big tech thing in your industry?

Most people would say it is cloud computing. I'm not an evangelist for the cloud but I think it will be very important.

Most companies still don't want to use the cloud; they're worried about keeping their data somewhere out there.

The two biggest tasks I have are:

  • How do get companies to relate to their employees in the way they want to be related?
  • How do you get down that bang-for-your-buck curve?

Someone said to me at one point that, in two or three years, the most modern companies won't own a single server.

What's the biggest technology mistake you ever made - either at work or in your own life?

In 1978, at the company I was working for, I thought Unix was the be-all and end-all. It took me a long time to come around to the Microsoft-style suite of software that everyone else was adopting.

Now, of course, we're going back to more of a Unix world. So I'm not quite sure I got my timing right!

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