By Dick Stark
A recent MIT Sloan Management Review Article, entitled, “Strategy, not Technology, Drives Digital Transformation,” discusses the digitalization and disruption that is transforming how businesses work. Of course, Netflix and Uber are the most common examples given of disruptors that have had significant widespread tangible impact. Now, nearly everyone understands the power of digitalization, and companies like BMC are rapidly releasing new products for the digital world.
What’s interesting, according to the article, is that the strength of digital technologies—Social, Mobility, Analytics, and Cloud (SMAC), “doesn’t lie in the technologies individually. Instead it stems from how companies integrate them to transform their businesses and how they work.” For example, users expect self-service anytime and anywhere. They are used to mobile apps that have updates monthly or weekly, instead of yearly. And, users expect a personalized experience from their IT department, similar to what they receive from Google or Amazon.
In regard to adoption, the study found that employees want to work for digital leaders. “Employees will be on the lookout for the best digital opportunities, and businesses will have to continually up their digital game to retain and attract them.”
The good news is that BMC is out front with new digital apps such as MyIT, SmartIT, and ServiceBroker. These innovative products have helped Remedy win despite strong competition from ServiceNow. We will soon start a Remedy 9 upgrade project with a government agency that includes an order for MyIT ServiceBroker, BMC’s new app store. The goal is to roll this out as an agency-wide Service Catalog. Other points include:
SMAC is agility driven, not cost driven. The cloud values autonomy, standardization, automation, and elasticity. For example, RightStar has used Salesforce.com for sales force automation since the company was formed more than 10 years ago. In that period, we have spent more than $250K on software subscription fees. Had we selected an on-premise software solution, we would likely have spent no more than $50K during that same period.
Yet, Salesforce was the right solution for us due to its ease of use, quick implementation, and integration with other applications. Most importantly, we are always on the current version, and the software has improved exponentially during that time. Agility, not cost is what matters.
In the age of the customer, drop IT from ITSM and replace with agile. CEO’s expect that CIO’s will simplify IT and mature ITSM is a way to deliver on that objective. The challenge is that IT has moved from becoming a service provider to a service broker, as empowered employees can easily bypass IT and order applications, mobile devices, and disk storage without IT’s knowledge or approval, and expect IT to support everything. Even ITIL has lost its luster, really its customer focus. DevOps is getting lots of the new attention now, with its own conference break-out sessions at the current Fusion itSMF conference in New Orleans. (We are in Atlassian’s booth).
In summary, IT must return to showing value without sacrificing agility or security. Start simply, adapt agile methods—and implement digital applications and processes when appropriate.