Realising the vision of Zero-Outage IT

Interview with Rainer Peters, Director Pointnext Technology Support Germany, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Lars-Arne Lakner, Manager, Foundation Support Domain, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Why has HPE joined the Zero Outage Industry Standard Association?

Rainer Peters: For us at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, developing, planning, building and operating IT environments for high availability has always been at the heart of our business. With digitisation, IT is becoming more and more critical for the success of companies and our economy in general. Therefore, there is a need to create standards that prevent problems, incidents, and disasters before they happen. By joining this initiative as a founding member, Hewlett Packard Enterprise wants to contribute to achieve the vision of an IT that never fails. We’re convinced that the work of this group will be beneficial for our societies, economies, and – not least – our own customers.

Mr Lars-Arne Lakner, you work in the People and Governance Workstream and helped make HPE a member of the association. What drives you?

I come from the service sector, and therefore have a particular interest in ‘People’ and ‘Processes’. My HPE colleague Robert Edelmann and I work intensively in these areas. Our colleague George Bock is also involved in the association’s Editorial Board. I consider it important to see the whole endeavour as a team effort. Just as Zero Outage can only be achieved as a team, all aspects of IT quality need to function smoothly together to ultimately achieve Zero Outage. That’s why the four pillars: People – Processes – Platforms – IT Security, for which the association defines best practices, are all equally important.

How do you view the co-operation with the other members?

Rainer Peters: IT is constantly gaining importance, IoT, industry 4.0, artificial intelligence, autonomous systems just to name a few. There are lots of new areas developing. That’s why it’s important to discuss different approaches with partners in order to develop new concepts and ideas which are externally transparent and comprehensible for users. That’s exactly what we’re working on here at the association, as we have realised that Zero Outage can only be achieved if we all work together. We not only want to describe known parameters, but also help further develop ideas and methods together. Our aim as an association is to adopt a leadership role in the market, and that works best when you have lots of creative minds. Many new aspects are currently being developed and discussed on the Editorial Board.

Lars-Arne Lakner: The great diversity in particular, that is to say the mix of hardware and software manufacturers, service providers and also later, end customers who run their own IT, is designed to ensure we also collate those ideas which will be accepted by the market and will be used as concepts in practice. Ideas can be improved when shared, so it’s a valuable asset that we are able to work with people from different companies, from very diverse roles. This also helps ensure high-quality results.

What do your customers think about HPE being a member of the association?

Rainer Peters: The Zero Outage approach is firmly rooted in our portfolio and company culture. That’s why we’re convinced we can make a valuable contribution to the association with our ideas. After all, IT stability and availability is one of our customers’ core interests.