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Speaking Out: Hewlett-Packard's Carly Fiorina


How is innovation changing?

In the 1990s, innovation was really focused around killer apps, hot boxes. Technology was seen as a stand-alone, silver-bullet answer to a lot of problems. Technology isn't a silver bullet. The innovation that is going to be most important is what I call innovation around fundamental capabilities and fundamental fabrics -- the kinds of innovation that weave systems and networks together. Security, mobility, rich media would be examples. These require systems approaches. They also require scope and scale, which is why we have been so convinced that the industry will consolidate into fewer, bigger players.

Is the tech recovery centered on companies making better use of the gear they have vs. buying the latest and greatest?

Companies are realizing that they are not getting sufficient return out of the IT investment they've already made. So a lot of them are focusing on: How do I increase my return before I start again? That's one of the reasons I've said that technology is going to grow at two times GDP, not five times GDP.

What's the outcome if IT grows at two times GDP?

It means not everybody survives. This could still be a great industry. Two-times GDP is not bad. And if you're Hewlett-Packard, a $73 billion company operating in 167 countries, we think that's a pretty great industry to be in. But it does mean that because customer requirements are increasing, not everybody can get over the bar. So there will be fewer winners.

What are the roadblocks to a full-throttle tech recovery?

The general health of the economy is a huge deal. It takes confidence for people to make capital investments. Beyond that, the fact that people must spend real dollars on technology is as inevitable as the sun rising.


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