Lush most recently served as a chief technology officer at Dell and was also executive chief technology officer at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
In his conversation with ExecutiveBiz, Lush discussed learning the ‘lingo’ of the federal government, where HP is headed in the government market and cloud and data analytics.
ExecutiveBiz: Could you tell us about your current role at HP and how your organization is organized?
Jeff Lush: I’m the Chief Technologist for the Federal Civilian Segment at HP and that includes the Federal Reserve Bank. HP Federal is made up of a large group of solution architects, services consultants, product specialists and product sales people. They are busy working towards the mission of supporting the federal government.
ExecutiveBiz: What are the main responsibilities in your role?
Jeff Lush: My responsibility is to bring emerging technology to the federal government by leveraging key technologies within HP, as well as technology delivered by our partners. The whole breadth of HP’s offering includes assisting the federal group in delivering a complete solution consisting of hardware, software, security and services to our customers. As Chief Technologist, my role is to truly understand the needs within the customer base and to interpret that into technologies HP provides. My 17-year experience in the federal government, coupled with 13 years in the IT commercial industry, has given me the ability to understand the language, to hear what the customer needs and interpret it into technology they can use. Regardless of the role I have, it brings me great pleasure and professional satisfaction to serve the US Federal government. At the end of the day the ultimate goal is to take care of the federal customer.
ExecutiveBiz: How does your experience in the government translate into your current role?
Jeff Lush: Aside from the challenge of spelling acronyms such as NIST, FISMA, FedRAMP and DIACAP, people outside the federal government have difficulty translating and understanding security controls and procedures that are absolutely critical to the functionality of a federal agency. Industry has the challenge of making that transition or “federalizing” solutions so that they can be ingested by the federal government. As Executive CTO for the US Department of Veterans Affairs, I spent a lot of time driving out vendor “lock-out” specifications into functional IT and business requirements. This hands-on experience of the federal government has greatly enhanced my ability to communicate with our customers at their level, and to look at new technology, asking relevant questions about security, fiscal accountability and operational strength in an effort to lower their costs and increase their functionality.
ExecutiveBiz: How are you aiding the long-term goals and growth plan of HP?
Jeff Lush: HP has already shown great signs of technology leadership and we will continue to fine-tune our solutions to provide federal customers with a repeatable, scalable and secure foundation from which they can depend upon for all their business needs. By providing a complete solution and the applicable security controls when warranted, we are enabling the government with an agile infrastructure for quicker deployment, and a foundation to accommodate emerging technologies. This strategy will serve our federal customers with a complete, secure, ATO/NIST enabled solutions, that will be effective today, and into the future; providing business advantages for all parties.
ExecutiveBiz: What are you particularly excited about among the specific projects you are working on?
Jeff Lush: HP has been in the technology business for 75 years and is doing a lot of great things. Some of the technologies produced at the HP labs are going to change the way we do compute in the future. HP Moonshot is a great example: a software defined server infrastructure with a small footprint, will drive down operational costs while increasing performance. It is exciting that HP continues to make investments required for the IT industry to move forward. Cloud and Data analytics are two great examples. The reality is there is a lot of data in our environments today. Data analytics will help companies and federal agencies sift through structured and unstructured data to make it more useable to their mission. However for the cloud, data analytics and IT in general, the supporting architecture is changing. The way we use virtualization, automation, servers, storage and IT is dramatically changing, and I am excited that HP is making the investments to ease the transition for our customers. HP brings passion, experience and strategic acquisitions that will unavoidably enable the movement of the industry into the future of compute: the New IT.
ExecutiveBiz: What are you most excited about moving forward?
Jeff Lush: The IT industry is in a cusp between the “traditional” IT of the past twenty five years, to the “New IT” which is aligned to an automated infrastructure and cost efficiencies. Our customers, as well as OEMs like HP, are struggling with this transition of realigning with the future way of IT. I am excited that HP is clearly communicating and acting upon its vision of the New IT strategy to the industry and making great progress. In the next 3 to 5 years, those who are engaging and making the investment in a repeatable, scalable and secure architecture are going to be successful. It is time to look closer at HP. I am pleasantly surprised at the great things that are happening at HP.
ExecutiveBiz: Is there anything you would like to add?
Jeff Lush: This is an exciting time for the IT industry. We are looking to use optical technology to transfer data at speeds that are unheard of. We are looking at compute power previously seen in large computers to fit in a mobile device. Industry and the federal customers may be struggling with the acquisition and delivery models associated with the New IT, although, as an industry, we are making positive movement toward the future. There is a lot of work that needs to be done, and I believe Hewlett-Packard (HP) is positioned well to deliver the “New IT” for the future.