Service Management Blog

IT Service and Operations Management: Operational Excellence in a Rapidly Digitizing World

3 minute read
Margaret Lee
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The most rewarding aspect of my first 100 days at BMC has been the opportunity to engage directly with customers. They’ve shared their success stories and their challenges, as well as what keeps them up at night. While every organization is different, these are the common trends:

  • Delivery of new products/features is too slow
  • Applications and hybrid infrastructure are becoming too complex
  • Ensuring system reliability and customer experience is too hard
  • Managing the continued explosion of data is too difficult to scale

While these challenges may ring familiar, the stakes today are far higher than ten, or even five, years ago as customers expect more than ever from their digital services, and their overall experience. Any failures are magnified, and an inability to adapt quickly to changing market conditions can cripple a business.

As the pressure mounts for service and operations teams to move faster in support of the business, operational excellence—across the entire business—is no longer optional. It’s a must.

Service and operations teams serve many groups: companies that are trying to engage with customers through immersive digital experiences; a workforce that expects consumer-like interactions with their enterprise IT services and products; and an ever-growing number of IT and line-of-business systems—and all demand an equally high level of service.

Three challenges to optimal service delivery

Of the many challenges facing service and operations teams, three stand out:

  1. Enterprise DevOps: As the business demands more frequent and faster code changes, conventional wisdom suggests that cultural issues are the problem, but we’re seeing IT teams struggle with the technical challenges of implementing enterprise-wide DevOps. Many of the new applications being developed and deployed are built in different architectures—native cloud, containers, and microservices—that need to coexist with or integrate into existing legacy systems. This adds to the complexity, resulting in companies falling behind in adopting modern technologies.
  2. An explosion of data: The variety of applications being accessed by employees or consumers through myriad devices is resulting in an explosion of data generated from applications, users, infrastructure, and more. Existing manual processes and fractured analytics can’t keep up with the speed and volume necessary to ensure operational excellence and deliver a transcendent customer experience. Heroic members of the service and operations teams are relied on to make sure problematic systems are returned to normal and operate smoothly. While admirable, this is not a scalable long-term strategy.
  3. Service assurance and optimization: As organizations embrace digital transformation, they must provide the responsive, consumer-oriented services demanded by their customers and employees. This requires extremely high reliability and performance, and the ability to keep services and applications updated and ready to meet future demand. Cloud and compute resources are cheap, but inadequate service assurance and optimization can negatively impact the customer experience and reliability, and lead to unnecessary cost overruns.

Operational excellence in today’s digital world requires service and operations teams to stay ahead of issues, resolve them faster, and provide always-on service. They can no longer rely on manual processes, fractured analysis, and best guesses. Instead, they must embrace the next generation of intelligence and automation that can help bring service and operations closer together.

I just got a peek at the results of a new survey of 400 IT and business leaders conducted by Hanover Research. It shows that business initiatives are now significantly more likely to be supported by both IT service and operations teams, with 51 percent of IT managers involved in integration in late 2020 versus 36 percent in 2019. However, there was not a significant increase in the number of organizations (23 percent in the most recent survey versus 19 percent in 2019) undergoing a full integration of their service and operations functions. In other words, there’s still a lot of work for organizations to do before they achieve operational excellence.

Coming soon

We at BMC understand the challenges and pressure our customers are facing. We’re adding a raft of innovative products, features, and capabilities to the BMC Helix portfolio that will help you:

  • Accelerate the journey to operational excellence and become an Autonomous Digital Enterprise
  • Make better decisions faster to prevent incidents and proactively resolve those that do arise
  • Provide connected visibility and actionable insights throughout the enterprise
  • Deploy software faster by bridging the gap between service and operations to drive agility, speed, and scalability

While the first 100 days here at BMC have been exciting, the next 100 and beyond promise to be even better.

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

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About the author

Margaret Lee

Margaret Lee is senior vice president and general manager of Digital Service and Operations Management for BMC Software, Inc. She has P&L responsibility for the company’s full suite of BMC Helix solutions for IT service management and IT operations management. Before joining BMC, Margaret was the general manager for data services at Mapbox, a SaaS platform for mapping, location data, and navigation, supporting a variety of consumer and enterprise applications.