Joe Ayers leads Hewlett-Packard‘s federal enterprise group as its vice president and general manager and leads a team that provides technology and consulting services to federal agencies.
Ayers, an inductee into Executive Mosaic’s Wash100 list for 2015, led Dell’s business for two years before he joined HP and is also a former U.S. Army aviation officer.
In this conversation with ExecutiveBiz, Ayers discusses how cloud computing has evolved in the federal government with the advent of FedRAMP and identifies the technology trend he believes could gain more traction in the next five years.
ExecutiveBiz: When did you join HP and what are some of the things that you have focused on since?
Joe Ayers: I joined HP in June 2013 and worked in the human resources group doing sales manager training. In January 2014, I took over the federal enterprise group team, which focuses on supporting the U.S. government with server, storage, networking and the services affiliated with those products.
ExecutiveBiz: What led you to join the company?
Joe Ayers: When I was recruited by HP leadership, I joined because of HP’s strong leadership team, the breadth of products and solutions it offers to our federal customers, and its commitment to innovation, such as the work we do in HP Labs.
ExecutiveBiz: Where do you see agencies further exploring cloud computing technologies?
Joe Ayers: We see focus on the federal government, pursuing both private and public types of cloud solutions to achieve a higher level of automation, better compute density, federated storage and more dynamic and secure networks.
Lately I am seeing more of our federal customers moving away from outsourced public cloud solutions and returning to privately held server, storage and network on-demand solutions as well as an increase in hybrid solutions that bridge across multiple federal data centers. HP provides the products and services to support these cloud solutions, either in a government or an industry location.
ExecutiveBiz: How has the industry modified its approach to cloud offerings with FedRAMP in place?
Joe Ayers: The industry has created new competitors in the market and different solutions for our customers to consider. Initially, a lot of the customers were looking at outsourcing some of their data centers. There were security requirements and challenges including some solutions not being mainly what they were advertised to be.
Many of our federal customers are looking to us specifically to help them build their data centers in a secure manner, wherein we provide safe and protected cloud-type services for them at their location. Customers are drawn to HP’s cloud offerings due to our commitment to open standards such as OpenStack and OpenFlow.
ExecutiveBiz: What would be the most disruptive trend in the next five years?
Joe Ayers: The biggest trend within the federal market is the push for data synthesis and analytics. I see a lot of different solutions and technologies around this area, in an effort to enhance the ability turn massive amounts of data into something that can be used in a more meaningful way. We’ve been working with some types of solutions like SAP HANA that work quite well with customers’ vast amounts of data.
ExecutiveBiz: Is there anything you would like to go more in depth on or any final thoughts you would like to offer?
Joe Ayers: Today, the government faces ever-increasing operational and mission demands in an environment of limited budgets. As the world’s largest technology company, HP has solutions and services it can provide across the enterprise, from the data center to each employee or warfighter. HP offers comprehensive and inexpensive solutions for federal customers looking to get the most out of their IT needs.