Q&A: What Digital Enterprise Management Means to Business with Dave Giles

BMC’s new concept of Digital Enterprise Management is a set of IT solutions designed to make business fast, seamless and optimized – from mainframe to mobile to cloud and beyond. But what does a digital enterprise really mean to those who run the company? What can DEM do for the average business manager? Dave Giles, vice president of product management and marketing at BMC, explains the benefits and opportunities DEM brings to your company.

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Q: What’s Digital Enterprise Management?
A: Digital Enterprise Management is a mindset around how you apply technologies and information to speed up the decision-making process in an organization. And how you push those decisions out to smaller teams so the organization can move faster and innovate more quickly. At BMC, we had to rethink how we help our customers do that: How we help them manage and deliver services not only to support the transition to a digital enterprise but also lead that transition. We usually talk about it as a journey toward delivering digital services.

We found it all starts with the same best practices that service management relies on today. In order to deliver digital services, we still need to be anchored in IT service management best practices. But we also need to think about how we can deliver services in a more intuitive and seamless manner so the end-user can experience the benefits of a digital workplace, where they can get their job done without any IT friction.

Q: How does DEM manifest itself in BMC’s product offering?
A: We’ve brought in people from the realm of consumer technology to help us do things differently. The first solution we introduced was called MyIT, which spurred how both BMC and our customers think about digital services today. MyIT was a vision for how employees could interact with IT and access technology resources more naturally and intuitively in their day-to-day job.

As we worked with customers to provide a single pane of glass to all the services available in an organization, we developed the definition of digital services. For the end-user, digital services mean they can go to MyIT and pick a service without worrying about how the service will be delivered on the back-end. They just have that wonderful experience of picking what they want and have it delivered seamlessly. The trick for us, as a service provider, is to give IT the back-end tools they need to take advantage of the myriad of new delivery resources that have developed over the last five to seven years, whether they are virtual or cloud or third-party services. Our tools help customers leverage those resources in an automated and managed way.

Q: How does DEM change the way IT operates?
A: When you combine MyIT with another of our new solutions, Smart IT, which is a modern, intuitive way for IT agents to access Remedy from any interface, you get a modern service desk. Together, Smart IT and MyIT represent a new way for end-users and service providers to interact naturally, regardless of what devices they are on. And by using a modern service desk like that, underpinned by ITSM best practices, both the people in the organization and the IT service provider can be more efficient. As a result, they can apply the time saved to solving other problems in the business.

Smart IT Mobile

Smart IT is available on all major devices and browsers.

 

It’s an exciting time to be at BMC because we offer the full spectrum of solutions around service management, service assurance, infrastructure management and automation, which helps organizations take advantage of their information infrastructure and make a full transition to becoming a digital enterprise. Within service management, we are especially focused on providing the process-management tools for solving not just IT problems but business issues as well. Remedy has always been the standard workflow platform for solving business problems, and we will increase that power as we introduce new tools to further configure Remedy for the business.

Q: How does DEM change the life of IT workers?
A: BMC is now developing solutions in a completely different way. Instead of thinking about rigid, siloed processes and developing applications targeted to specific IT functions, we think about the people who are doing the work day in and day out.

We conducted thousands of hours of user-experience research to observe how IT workers use our tools in their own environments. Based on the findings, we designed Smart IT for Remedy to change the life of the average IT professional. Now, when you work with Remedy, using the Smart IT interface, instead of hunting for information in the system, the system pushes the information to you as you type or speak, if you’re using a mobile device. Knowledge articles, templates, customer information are all pushed to your screen whether you’re using a desktop, tablet or iPhone. Going forward, people outside of IT will also be able to leverage the Remedy platform to solve business problems in a simple, context-aware way.

We are very focused on the people and the problems they try to solve. For example, I recently spoke to one of our customers about the new change management process in Remedy. Normally when a change request comes in, he’d have to open up his laptop, tunnel in through VPN, log on to the system and go through the whole process of approving the change. With Smart IT, he gets a notification on his phone and presses a button to approve the request. If he needs to drill into the request to get more details, he can do it right there on his mobile device.

The people we cater to – these so-called personas – we see them as design partners, and we constantly gather feedback from them. We go back to them with each release to get more information so that we can continuously improve our solutions.

Q: How does DEM impact the rest of the business?
A: The world is changing. By 2030, 75 percent of the workforce is going to be made up of Millennials. This generation has never known a world where they can’t access technology resources anywhere, anytime, on any device. As a business leader, you need to keep these people engaged because when your employees are engaged they are much more productive and they create more value for the organization. Also, in a modern workplace you save time, which can be used to get new things done. On average, each employee loses about two days a month because of technology-based friction. So, to the extent that you can enable workers to solve their own problems quickly in an automated way, you create more value for the organization.

service broker and myit

MyIT Service Broker federates multiple catalogs in one service app store.

 

Q: How disruptive is DEM?
A: We’re trying to help our customers take advantage of the natural behaviors employees already exhibit at home where they use consumer technology, such as Uber or Netflix, but do so in a way that is compliant, stable and secure. The term Shadow IT is often used to explain how people go around IT to solve their problems or create completely new processes that run outside of IT’s governance. For example, I have spoken to many business leaders who after waiting for weeks to have a service delivered by the internal IT organization decided to go to Amazon Web Service, where they can have the same service spun up in just a few hours.

To help customers alleviate some of these issues, BMC now offers a solution called MyIT Service Broker, which makes it very easy and fast to on-board, manage and deliver both internal and third-party services. MyIT Service Broker provides a user experience similar to iTunes but at the same time allows IT to control the process.

Q: How should BU managers plan for this change?
A: One thing business leaders can do is look at the day-to-day activities of their own employees to identify what resources and information they require to effectively do their jobs. They need to take a persona-based approach to identifying how they can help their employees create the most amount of value for the organization. For example, if you have sales people in the field, what obstacles do they face? What challenges do they have to overcome on a daily basis?

Armed with this information, business leaders can work much better with IT to leverage the information infrastructure and deliver critical services the way people want to consume them. We actually have quite a few customers who are already doing this to better understand what their employees need in order to be successful.

Q: Is the Digital World making our lives better?
A: When I used to live in Japan, my wife, who I was dating at the time, and I would send letters via air mail. We’d only speak on the phone once a month or so because it was so expensive to call each other. Now, I can Skype with my old friends from Japan and see them face-to-face with the push of a button. It’s a completely different world and the organizations that are not thinking consciously about what that means to them, how they can grow their business in this new environment and ensure employees have a wonderful work experience, they will be marginalized. Businesses are either going digital or they are going to die.

To learn more about Digital Enterprise Management, download “IT Service Brokering for Dummies.”

These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

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Alf Abuhajleh

Alf Abuhajleh

Alf is an IT expert at BMC and the host of Alf's Zoo. Alf is focused on social, mobile and context-aware IT.