NEWS ANALYSIS: Hewlett-Packard Enterprise has learned valuable lessons about IT consolidation in the cloud that it can pass on to customers.

LAS VEGAS–For Hewlett-Packard, it seems, breaking up really isn’t that hard to do after all.
First of all, it’s actually happening. The new Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and the consumer PC and printer company HP Inc. are going to be operationally separated on Aug. 1, right on schedule, officials said this week at the HP Discover 2015 conference. The legal separation will occur Nov. 1.
It’s going to be the end of an era, not only for a venerable Silicon Valley company, but also for customers who can no longer ignore the benefits cloud computing can bring to their businesses and who must adapt their IT infrastructures to take advantage of those opportunities.
The new Hewlett-Packard Enterprise is in a unique position to meet those needs. Not only does it have the products and services to help companies make that transition, the split-up of HP itself has given the company first-hand experience to enable customers to “start the journey with HP”—a common refrain here this week. The split is not only the right move for HP, but it’s also happening at the right time for company and its customers.

HP has accomplished a lot getting to this point. It has had to deal with separating 2,800 applications and 75,000 APIs among 300,000 employees while consolidating data centers and network infrastructure, according to John Hinshaw, HP’s executive vice president of technology and operations. The company plans to publish documentation about the separation from an IT operations perspective once everything is complete, Hinshaw said, pointing to the current trend of businesses splitting up or consolidating.

What HP has learned is that cloud infrastructure and consolidation works. “If you are on the journey to consolidate, I would accelerate that,” said Hinshaw, pointing to the benefits the process has brought to HP by transforming to a hybrid infrastructure. “We learned a lot about DevOps along the way,” he said.
The result has been, or will be, a successful separation, but the real benefits of the split are opportunities now available for the new HP Enterprise and its customers.
The split hasn’t been without some pain, though. There have been thousands of layoffs and a lot of long hours and weekends for those doing the actual work of separation. But even while HP has been occupied with the separation, it has been laying out and executing on a strategy formed around a transformation to hybrid computing, enterprise security, the data-driven organization and workplace productivity.
HP has made three key acquisitions since February to help deliver on that strategy, strengthening networking, with Aruba and ConteXtream, and security, with Voltage Security.