Yesterday BMC announced MyIT, which it describes as a “new enterprise software solution that empowers employees to take personal control over the delivery of the IT services and information they need — anytime, anywhere, from any device.” I was demoed it prior to the announcement, and it definitely does provide employees with greater insight into, and control over, the IT services they consume.

My initial reaction?

Once I had got the initial thoughts of “I don’t like the name” — because it seemed “dated,” and because something like this is about more than IT — out of my mind, the jigsaw pieces that make up my opinion started to fall into place:

  • It is embracing so many of the challenges faced by IT organizations (and their customers), such as increasing customer expectations of IT per se, mobility, personal hardware (corporate and BYOD), customer service and support … and I could go on.
  • It picks up and runs with, not so much social as many would expect, but the consumer-led penchant for self-service (both for service delivery and support).
  • It starts to leverage the capabilities of our “gadgets” that are often neglected in the corporate (software) environment.
  • It makes service catalog more relevant and more accessible — service catalog is really about self-service from the customer interface POV. This could be self-service on steroids.
  • It also substantiates the comment I made in my last blog about BMC, and a few other vendors, realizing that their IT service management (ITSM) tools are about so much more than the technology. That it’s not about the IT, but about the consumption of IT-enabled services by people — our customers.

Other pundits have talked about the “rebirth of BMC” (from an ITSM POV) based on the Remedy 8, etc., announcement, but BMC shed its previous skin well over a year ago if you looked in the right places. MyIT is evidence of its new focus and thinking (and the hard work that follows those new ideas). And for those who have written about this being about “control moving from IT to the customer,” it’s not about control — it’s about getting things done in the most efficient and effective way, together.

OK, so I have “blown some smoke” (as they say) in BMC’s direction …

… but I always have caveats and cautions — “I’m an analyst, it’s my job” (a sneaky ’80s movie reference there).

I was never one to spout-off about the “lack of ITSM tool vendor innovation.” New ideas were there if you cared to look outside of the confines of ITIL-enablement (the ITSM best practice framework). One also has to differentiate between creativity and innovation — having good ideas is not innovation, how and when the ideas make a difference to the business and customers is innovation. So MyIT is a great idea, and it will be a great innovation if and when we see real results (and I hope that we do).

A big question is: “Are IT organizations ready?” Although, I know this really is a moot point, as is “Are IT organizations ready for BYOD?” It doesn’t matter, as customer-driven change will happen. Employees will find better ways to acquire IT services (as well as hardware), and to be supported, if the IT organization doesn’t adapt to the “modern employee” and their requirements. I guess my real point is that BMC may initially have a limited number of IT organizations with the right mentality to see the potential of MyIT (or the ability to get the best out of it). Rather than waiting for the other 98% to catch up, the target market is most likely going to be CIOs and other C-level executives (oh dear, more friction for the stuck-in-the-mud I&O professional).

The real killer for me though is making MyIT relevant. Most of us only think about IT when we don’t have it or it’s not working (even though it is vital to our work lives). So MyIT needs to evolve into a multi-perspective “MyWorklife” (I’m sure marketing will come up with a far better name) that is at the center of our daily routines, with IT just a small component that is leveraged when the “cupcakes hit the fan.” BMC’s product development people aren’t daft; they know where this is going.

In summary

It’s a great move by BMC that pushes the proverbial envelope for ITSM tools, but we have to remember that the person who invented the MP3 player is unknown whereas we all know Apple, iDevices, and iTunes. What customers get out of MyIT, not what BMC puts in, will be the real yardstick for success.