HP aims to be heard in global cybersecurity dialogue, official says

New VP of global government affairs also sees opportunities in healthcare, innovation

Larry Irving has been Hewlett Packard’s vice president of global government affairs for only seven months, but he’s already traveled several times to HP facilities across the United States, China and Europe.

When he spoke to a group of journalists Thursday, he had just returned the night before from HP headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., and was preparing to leave for Asia next week.

His travels have given him a perspective on the leading government information technology issues of the day, he said, and added that HP will play an active role in the global fight against cyber attacks.

“You simply can’t have a globe as dependent upon IT and technology infrastructure as [the world is] without having really smart people who are seasoned in what hackers and cyber attackers do and not be part of that dialogue,” he said. “So we will be part of that dialogue.”

Irving said, “Literally millions of attacks are made on our clients’ web sites and our clients’ infrastructure everyday. We think we have a perspective, we think we can add some value to the discussions and dialogue on cybersecurity.”

Irving said he has not spoken to one IT policy expert or government official anywhere in the world “who doesn’t believe that cybersecurity is job 1 for all of us.”

Looking ahead, Irving said he expects the leading policy issues that HP will focus on through the middle of the decade will be patent reform, international tax concerns, a “panoply of broadband issues,” and worldwide energy consumption.

He also cited the new healthcare law and “how do we get health care IT as part of a larger mix of solutions that will bring the cost of healthcare provision down and make healthcare provision more affordable for more Americans?”

He said judging by the new IT products that are now being developed, “the next five years of innovation will be even more exciting than the last 15 years.”

And he predicted that Apple’s new iPad will “precipitate a food fight” over functionality.

“When you think [that] 150,000 mobile applications were created in the last two years because of one company having the iPhone, imagine what’s going to happen when you have literally a half dozen to a dozen companies having a tablet-like device that you can carry anywhere, do anything with.”

Irving said he believes that innovation drives business. “What I am also thinking about is all the social applications that are going to be created, the ways we can change the way people do commerce, the way we do education, the way we do health care monitoring. All those things are going to be possible because we’re going to see exciting new products.”

Hewlett Packard/EDS, of Palo Alto, Calif., ranks No. 12 on Washington Technology’s 2009 Top 100 list of the largest federal government prime contractors.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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