Can We Blame Social Sites For HP’s Restructuring?By: Shawn Hess - May 24, 2012
Over the next couple years, print giant Hewlett Packard will scale back their workforce by as much as 8%, or 27,000 people. It is all part of a massive initiative to restructure the way the company does business, and to stay competitive in this market, quick adaptation is needed. They expect to reinvest the money they save from cutting labor expenses back into refining processes and simplifying their market strategy.
HP President and CEO Meg Whitman comments on the changes at the firm:
“These initiatives build upon our recent organizational realignment, and will further streamline our operations, improve our processes, and remove complexity from our business,”
“While some of these actions are difficult because they involve the loss of jobs, they are necessary to improve execution and to fund the long term health of the company. We are setting HP on a path to extend our global leadership and deliver the greatest value to customers and shareholders.”
While the company invests in cloud security, information analytics, speed development in security, big data and other areas, there is a noticeable piece of the puzzle missing. Yes that’s right, printing technology. While I am sure they are not out of the game, some wonder if network sharing and other forms of digital media aren’t cutting into the physical photo printing business.
Venture Beat published a story that features Facebook as a main reason for HP’s recent decline in revenue from printers and ink cartridges used in their devices. Essentially they are claiming that as more people join the Facebook revolution, fewer choose to actually print out their photos.
I like what they are implying here. It speaks to a positive evolution, at least by my reckoning. Facebook and other social sites like Twitter and Pinterest allow us to share photos and other documents in a way that’s both, environmentally friendly, and economical. Let’s be honest, most of us use printers that are overpriced, antiquated, and expensive to operate. It’s cheaper to take your photos to Walgreens.
I am glad to see HP evolving and shifting their research efforts away from old technology and investing in newer more useful endeavors like cloud-based systems and security. Of course dying product lines will temporarily effect the bottom line, why do you think we still have gas-powered automobiles? Strained sales and revenue growth should indicate it’s time to innovate and move on, not sink more money into a dying cow.