BMC's MyIT May Be the Future of IT Services

This week BMC Software unveiled MyIT, which wraps a friendly user interface over internal IT systems. The release capitalizes on the reason why BYOD is big: Today's consumer applications are easier to use than corporate apps. Other vendors should take notice of BMC, if they want to stay in business, columnist Rob Enderle writes.

By Rob Enderle
Fri, November 02, 2012

CIO — Over the last several years, we have seen increasing indications that IT is becoming redundant. The bring your own device (BYOD) trend has employees taking their own hardware, often with its own software and services, to the office.

We've also seen a massive upswing in the use of online services from firms such as Amazon and Google. Corporate credit cards in hand, employees are purchasing products in a way that bypasses company policy, or ignores it altogether, yet eventually made part of IT's budget.

Add to that outsourced IT services such as Microsoft Azure—which work well when it goes directly to employees—and it does start to look like much of IT is becoming less of a service and more of an anachronism that stands in the way of line employees doing their job.

Commentary: In a BYOD World, Is IT Redundant?

This trend is similar to what happened in the 1980s, when consumer focused technology advanced far more quickly than management information systems. Back then, employees got their managers to buy PCs and pretty much made MIS obsolete. It took more than a decade, but that's because PCs were expensive and networking was a joke. Today smartphones, tablets and even PCs are cheap, a child can connect to a network and bypassing IT often doesn't even require a manager's approval since the expense it is so low.

The ideal defensive move for IT departments is to treat consumer technology as the competition that it is and step up to the challenge. It isn't that IT can't win the battle by providing more reliable and more secure services; it's that often IT isn't even in the fight.

However, BMC Software's recent MyIT initiative is designed to address this problem directly by providing a personal UI that's tailored to a user's role and is accessible on mobile devices as well as the traditional desktop. I bet other vendors will follow BMC once they realize that they'll be out of business because they're built to sell to users and can't give IT departments the tools they need.

How MyIT Reengages the End User

In the 1980s, MIS was like a priesthood and the users were the parishioners who, denied access to the holy books, had to rely on MIS to get the services they needed. Users didn't have much choice; it often seemed that you needed to sacrifice a chicken and do a silly dance before you'd get something that barely resembled what you asked for (and it was late to boot). Then the PC entered the scene like a blazing light of truth that freed us from the oppressive MIS presence. We were suddenly able to do our jobs. (I worked at IBM at the time and was one of the folks driving the internal revolt, which ended with us basically firing MIS).

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