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A yearning for the habitual is what drives BYODpic 1.jpg

While we might claim we want to live our lives like a beer commercial (with a mighty thirst for undying adventure), in the end it’s more puffery than not because we end up migrating toward what is comfortable and familiar. When it comes to our work tools, we don’t want the challenge of the unknown - we want familiarity. That’s why BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is so popular. We don’t want to jump back and forth between different devices with disparate operating systems, search for buried bookmarks, or explore never-before-seen versions of software. If you're like me, in a hurry most of the time, anything that slows you down even slightly tends to be pushed aside very quickly.

 

The Dreaded Learning Curve

 

When you are handed a completely different and new shiny object at the office, you might feel elated at first (especially if the equipment is better than your own), but you also know you’re going to face a frustrating learning curve that will, at a minimum, slow you down while you figure out the nuances. I heard a lot of friends howling and complaining about being forced from the comfort of Microsoft® Windows 7® into the unfamiliar territory of Windows 8®. Think back to the years before you had a preferred mobile operating system. Before you became an iOS devotee, or perhaps an Android™ zealot. Do you remember how frustrating the learning curve was when you acquired a new phone? It doesn’t matter if it is a massive upgrade - it’s a new massive upgrade, and new nearly always means disruptive.

 

Pros of BYOD

 

Is BYOD “good” or “bad”? Like most questions, the answer depends on whom you ask.

 

1. Productivity

 

Employers aren’t stupid (most of them, at any rate). They know that when employees are allowed to access work email on a personal smartphone, they will check email 20+ times per day more and end up working as much as two extra hours each day. The Telegraph notes that nearly 9 out of 10 office workers can access work email on their phones, and two-thirds of them check email as soon as they wake up, and right before they go to bed.

 

2. One Consistent Device

 

When you use the same devices at home and at work, you don’t need to learn multiple systems or switch back and forth to access bookmarks, search history, apps and software, etc. This is an enormous advantage with BYOD. It is all about productivity, and a consistent experience that keeps me focused and moving fast.

 

3. Cool factor

 

Mitch Landry, a BMC principal product manager based in Gig Harbor, Washington said, "Historically, IT shops only would let you use approved devices. It was all about IT. You would go to the IT guys, and everyone was an idiot but them. And if you put something on your desktop that wasn't approved, they would remove it. That has totally changed. IT is no longer is running the ship, they are a service organization.”

 

Landry said that a new generation is growing into management positions and demanding to use personal devices (tablets, Macs, smartphones, etc.) once considered unconventional and unsupportable. “They have all these devices and new expectations for service, and the goal for the IT guy today is providing business flexibility and agility. It's not just about IT anymore, it's about increasing the productivity of the business."

 

Cons of BYOD

 

1. IT security strains

 

If you were feeling pretty good about BYOD, not everyone necessarily agrees with you. At the Gartner® Symposium/ITxpo®, Gartner listed BYOD as one of the top 10 strategic technology trends for 2014, and estimated that BYOD will double or even triple the size of the mobile workforce - and place a huge strain on IT and finance organizations.

 

Gartner describes BYOD as “a disruptive phenomenon where employees bring non-company IT into the organization and demand to be connected to everything – without proper accountability or oversight.” Gartner goes on to warn about BYOD causing violations of all kinds of enterprise rules and regulations, and leading to detrimental impacts on network availability and loss of data. However, with theproper governance policies in place, this type of evolution can be handled gracefully. The transformation is inevitable (it’s already well underway), so managing this process is not as dire as the analysts predict. Going mobile with BYOD is not difficult, it’s just complicated, and we do complicated things all day, every day.

 

2. Indirect costs and threats

 

According to FireEye, the average enterprise organization is attacked by malware once every three minutes, with each attack costing $3,000 per day or more to recover. Yikes. Opening up the corporate network to rogue BYOD devices increases the likelihood of these costly attacks.

 

There are security tools and policies that can be enabled on a personal device that allow it to play nicely in a corporate environment and minimize risk, but with BYOD, that risk still will exist. The risk, however, can be controlled, and the associated competitive risk of not mobilizing is far greater.

 

3. Equipment expenses: Employee costs

 

Cisco says that 90 percent of employers have some kind of BYOD policy, but the reality is that most of them are not very sophisticated. For example, if your employer doesn’t have some formal process for reimbursement or a way to track the depreciation of personal devices, then the employee bears the brunt of the cost of a BYOD initiative. (Of course, for the employer, this comes out as a Pro.)

 

Can You COPE With BYOD?

 

In the wake of the known security perils associated with BYOD, and the obvious desire for employees to personalize their devices, some buzz has arisen around the concept of COPE (corporate-owned, personally-enabled). The idea is to allow the personalization and productivity of BYOD, but with reduced risk.

 

COPE allows corporate policy makers and IT leaders more control over which devices are supported and what controls are in place on the device, while still accommodating employees who want to personalize their device and content. Just as they could on their own device, employees can send personal emails, access social media, and download photos, but application controls can prevent corporate information from escaping established perimeters. In addition, the IT department controls the device and can remotely wipe the device if the employee loses it or leaves the company.

 

A Fond Memory of IT vs. Creative

 

I remember a day years ago when a web designer in our creative group brought his own Mac G4 to the office and managed to elicit a derisive snort from IT. “You don’t honestly think we’re going to support a Mac, do you?” The IT guys didn’t want (or know how) to support a device that wasn’t a PC.

 

Of course, looking back, I wonder if part of the problem might have been cultural; the IT guys didn’t care for those rogue, black-clad creative folk, slumping in their chairs and listening to bass-thudding techno. They scoffed at the creative types who clicked away their days with design software, sitting at darkened workstations and relishing the perpetual sport of disconnecting the fluorescent ceilingtubes as soon as the confused maintenance guys popped them back into place. Good times.

 

These days, even in an enterprise environment, it’s probably more unusual for a creative team not to work on a Mac.

 

Is BYOD Good News or Bad News?

 

What do you think? What’s been your experience? And where do you think this is headed? Chime in.

 

Like visual data? Here's the matching infographic. For more information on BYOD and its role in the New IT, check out our eBook.


Editor's note: CIO magazine covered BMC and our infographic, noting that "BYOD users work longer and earlier."

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AXELOS, the owner of the Best Management Practice portfolio, recently published the book I wrote “Passing Your ITIL Managing Across the Lifecycle Exam,” which provides guidance to students preparing to take the ITIL® Managing Across the Lifecycle, or MALC, qualification exam. Anyone in the industry who wants to become ITIL® Expert-certified must take this exam, but this book is not just for people who want to become certified—it’s also a good resource for people and organizations who just want a better understanding of IT service management (ITSM). This book does not replace the core ITIL publications or the value-added ITIL training, but it does enhance those resources.

 

The book chapters follow the MALC syllabus and include a sample exam with answer rationale to help students succeed with the certification exam. The chapters in the book are:

 

  • Introduction
  • Managing across the lifecycle
  • Key concepts of the service lifecycle
  • Communication and stakeholder management
  • Integrating service management process across the lifecycle
  • Managing service across the service lifecycle
  • Governance and organization
  • Measurement
  • Implementing and improving service management capability
  • Applying knowledge to exam
  • Sample case study, exam, answers, and rationale

 

Many organizations today are using ITIL as a tool to improve their practice of service management and to manage their IT services. Understanding and applying the material presented in this book will help achieve those goals. The techniques in the book should be applied holistically to support solution adoption roadmaps for business service improvements. The ITIL lifecycle itself is structured dynamically to help organizations with high-performing value realization. Take what you need from this book and apply it to your service improvement program to help solve your service delivery and support challenges. Apply MALC certification skills to real business IT service challenges.

 

Generic roadmap

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Visit www.BMC.com for more ITIL resources i.e. technology, services, booklets, videos, podcast, blogs, etc. Follow me on twitter @anthonyorratbmc

 

Last, but not least, I would like to give thanks to The Stationary Office (TSO) for selecting me to write this publication, and special thanks to my mentor Maggie Kneller and all the reviewers of the book before it was published.

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How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb? Just one but it has to want to change. So runs the old joke, but there is at the heart of this gag a serious point: want trumps need every time.

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As IT organizations face down the challenges of a rapidly digitizing business (and their newly expanded role), it’s clear that the implications are significant and far reaching. Change is needed in terms of how teams organize themselves, the technology they employ, right through to how they how they think and and act.

However, studies indicate that many IT transformation initiatives will fail to deliver on their full potential thanks to cultural issues and other human factors. This is often because most stakeholders don’t understand why the project is happening or how it will be accomplished.

This can be avoided if all parties agree upfront that:

  • The exercise is necessary and will benefit all concerned
  • The project can actually be completed


Simple eh? Hmm…

The chances of an effective and successful delivery increase substantially if you can build on a foundation of broad-based readiness for change. Some of this foundation will be infrastructural and procedural (the easy bits), but the largest part will be cultural and psychological (the not so easy bits).


Want Versus Need

While it’s crucial that all stakeholders believe in the mandate for change, they are more likely to be invested if they want it to happen, hence the unintended profundity of our opening joke.

This is in contrast to feeling that the change needs to happen or ought to happen. Case in point: extensive research done by organizational change experts, John P. Meyer and Lynne Herscovitch (you can find a not too stuffy summary here)

My understanding* is that Meyer and Herscovitch found that when group want a project to succeed, the following factors improve: collaboration, problem solving and teamwork. Further, the number of people actively championing the undertaking, without prompting or coercion, increases dramatically.

(*so you'll definitely want to read it yourself.)

Cultivating a Collective Want

Understandably, the largest part of your organization will not be at the ‘wanting’ stage. Most will be on a spectrum ranging from outright denial through to a strong sense of the need to change, but very few will be actively advocating and championing new ways of working. So - what can you do to engage them?

Idea 1: The practitioner/manager survey

Ask the team to honestly (and anonymously) identify the realities of their working situation. This tends to work better than hosting group or workshop sessions, where participants may not feel comfortable sharing their true feelings and pragmatic analyses.

The following is an example of a simple and effective survey you could use, in this case the focus is on ITSM team, but the principle would be identical for all other groups.

  • How effective are our IT support processes in light of new technologies such as mobile and cloud?
  • Where do we waste the most time in responding to requests?
  • How effective are our processes and supporting software solution?
  • How well do we share information within and between teams?
  • How would you rate the quality of service you are able to provide to our business users?
  • Do we measure and track the right things?
  • How useful is our knowledge base?

 

 

Idea 2: Design your outcomes (and KPIs) together.

Invite all team members to define a shared view of success, and you may be surprised to find that even the most hardened skeptics will temper their objections. Their participation is vital to reinforcing the vision and its credibility.

I recommend that you include team members in designing and constructing your goals and KPIs. You’ll discover that this can quickly unify the team and provide a measureable uplift in commitment to the project.

As you work with the team, you may want to consider some questions that people typically weigh when evaluating the merits of organizational change:

  • Will the change resolve organizational shortcomings and, by extension, make my life better?
  • Does the change further the values and ethics of our team?
  • Is there urgency? Is there a sense that something needs to happen sooner rather than later?
  • Is their clear and consistent support of my leadership for change?
  • Is their support from my peers for change? By developing a shared vision for success, you’re likely already addressing the critical decision factors above.

Chapter

Can We Build It? Yes, We Can!

We’ve all heard the story about the little engine that could. Believing that 
something is possible is just as important as wanting it to happen.

Organizational change experts attribute this to self-efficacy, or one’s belief in his or her ability to succeed in specific situations. This concept directly impacts your ability to build a foundation for successful outcomes. Those who genuinely want change have a much higher sense of their self-efficacy.

If you’re interested in learning more about the significance of believing, try a Google Scholar search on ‘self-efficacy’ or ‘group efficacy’. Google Scholar is better than regular Google in this case, especially if you want to avoid the usual snake oil personal change gurus.

So, how do you convince your team that successful change is possible? You’ll need to reassure them that:

  • A comprehensive, thoughtful plan exists
  • The people involved are capable of successfully planning and implementing the project
  • Sufficient resources and contingencies exist to see the job through to the end
  • There is a sound strategy for communicating and measuring progress
  • Any broader organizational barriers to change can be removed or at least bypassed


The best way to ensure your plan is widely understood and validated is to include the broader team in its construction. This encourages ongoing peer-to-peer collaboration, reinforces support for the plan and helps foster confidence in the project management and methodology.

In my experience, the organizations that built small, yet focused and inclusive, teams were most successful. For example, the following members could comprise a strong core team:

  • Project management professional (some organizations prefer an individual with no ITSM experience)
  • Project sponsor and owner from the IT leadership team
  • Service delivery management representative (if applicable)
  • Business sponsor/s from a supportive and engaged function
  • Two practitioners from each IT process/function (depending on scale)


As you and your core team make progress in formulating a plan, you’ll want communicate your status to a broader group of interested stakeholders at regular intervals. That’s where a strong communications plan comes into play, but more of that in a later blog...

 

Is your organization: wanting, needing, oughting or denying?

So as you think about your IT organization and it’s readiness to change in response to the new demands of digital business, where are you on the spectrum of cultural readiness? I’d love to hear your views on cultivating readiness in teams and organizations.

You can comment below, or chat on twitter with me as @messagemonger

Cheers!

Chris

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At a recent Mobility conference there was a session on how Ford incorporates technology into their vehicles. Jim Buczkowski, Director of Electrical and Electronics Systems, at Ford Motors showcased that the car company breaks down in-car tech  into three buckets: what is 1) Built in, 2) Brought in, and 3) Beamed in. As a frequent renter of their cars, I can readily see how thinking about these three aspects impact the driving experience. I love how easy it is to sync my iPhone with the car so I can use the built in voice activation to control the in car navigation, my phone as well as outside audio sources like Pandora. This three-part construct can is also helpful for I.T. when looking at enterprise mobility.

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Built In

What are the apps and tools that end users must have to work in their roles? For apps and tools that are required for security and compliance purposes, a good distribution method is when users on-board their phones and tablets using Mobile Device Management tools. For items that are not required but are core to worker productivity, you can ensure delivery via an Corporate App Store experience. The advantage of an app store is distribution can be broken down by role. Sales teams get the apps and content relevant to them, HR and Support would get a different package. The point is to ensure that everyone has the same basic tools to level set against. BMC has a solution for both of the above scenarios, check out more on BMC MDM and BMC AppZone.

 

Brought In

With the era of BYOD upon us, I.T. has focused on the device side of what the user is bringing to the workplace. Broad device support is important, but equally important is looking at what apps the users are bringing in along with their devices. These apps can serve as the basis for building a library of tools other team members can take advantage on. Look at apps tracked in your MDM tool and compare that with what gets downloaded on your internal app store. Are there any very popular apps that are brought in via outside sources? Are more people downloading and using Dropbox than your corporate approved content sharing tool. For these grass roots tools (one that are appropriate for your business), place copies of them on your app store so you can track their usage and manage updates and licenses.

 

Beamed In

The steady stream of data flowing into devices and often across your WiFi network isn’t just traffic to manage but a source of information about what your users want and need. Are your users downloading and streaming the same content, if so then find ways to host that inside your servers for easier and more efficient access. If lots of people are subscribing to a particular business related app (Wall Street Journal, CIO Magazine) purchase volume licenses and manage them in your app store. The content does not always have to be work related to provide value to your users and lighten the load on your infrastructure. If you notice people downloading FIFA app and streaming the World Cup to their phones during lunch hour, provide it on the big screen in the break room.

 

These are just a few examples of how to think of the broader implementation and impact mobility has on your businesses. Looking to other industries like automotive can provide a new perspective on how to get the most benefit from this transformation. Let us know what outside-the-I.T.-box areas you think might apply here.

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The onslaught of Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) and Consumerization of I.T. brings with it many transformational changes to ITSM. The productivity gains from a mobile enabled workforce are significant. The reduction in lost time from more consumer focused self-service user interfaces hitting I.T. service applications is also a boon to both users and I.T.

 

An unintended consequence of these trends is there is a increased likelihood end users will take matters into their own hands beyond just the basics. Just like the trend of Shadow I.T. with cloud services, empowered mobile users may overstep IT and provide their own services that overlap or even conflict with ITSM. iStock_000016331079Small.jpgMobile users are often a fiercely independent bunch and the possibility of BYOIT or a full-blown outbreak of “Shadow ITSM” is real. What can I.T. do to deliver world-class service that helps build the business instead of being at odds with the business units they are chartered with helping? The answer is much the same as we have seen with Cloud services.

 

Much like Cloud Lifecycle Management has helped corral rogue cloud provisioning and present a win-win where users get the flexibility, agility and choice they crave while I.T. gets compliance, cost management, and benefits of scale. In the new world of Mobility, Self-service IT, Social I.T. can use tools like BMC’s MyIT, AppZone and Remedyforce as well as some best practices to stay ahead of the curve.

 

Here are six tips to get things started:

 

  1. I.T. Needs to Be First in Line for Upgrades – Users have become accustomed to the Mobile software arms race and implement upgrades within hours of release. Last year, a team offsite I attended happened to coincide with the OS7 release date. By the end of the day every single Apple gadget was running the new OS. It was a badge of honor. IT needs to embrace early adopter behavior, be there early to ensure any compatibility issues are caught early and communicated out immediately.
  2. Achieve a HealthyBalance Between Self-Service and Full Service. Consumerization of I.T. and increased reliance on self-service interfaces go hand in hand. End users, especially mobile ones, have come to rely on tools that give them just what they need in quick and engaging interface. BMC’s MyIT is an excellent tool to build a great self-service foundation with ITSM. But self-service has it limits. More complex tasks require having a great full service experience to get things done. I.T. in the New IT world should ensure self-service and full service work in tandem. By freeing up I.T. support staff from routine and repetitive interactions, workers can focus on delivering world-class service when engaging with end users over more complex matters.
  3. Uncover App Store Influencers – Products like BMC AppZone provide an app store for all of the applications needed to get work done at an organization. These app stores provide a treasure trove of information on what apps are on the rise. In addition to looking at download and ratings metrics, I.T. should seek out key influencers inside the company. Create a council of app users who regularly share why they recommended a particular app and understand what makes an app go viral within a team or division. Just like the marketing department hires social media experts to scour through the Twittersphere or Facebook graph to unearth trends, I.T. can look at reports from AppZone to be on the lookout for the next big thing to hit the organization.
  4. Crowdsource the Knowledge base – One of the great benefits of BMC Remedyforce is that it is based on the Force.com platform. Aside from all the platform benefits, it also helps to bridge the gap between the internal social workplace communications and standard ITSM operations. You can integrate conversations on Chatter with Knowledge base information to provide a more comprehensive level of service.
  5. Use MDM as a Force for Good. For many end users the idea of I.T. having visibility into their mobile device usage is invasive and often leads to failed BYOD implementations. A recent Gartner study predicts 20% of all BYOD will fail due to these heavy-handed policies. I.T. not only needs to be transparent with what it will and wont do with user data, but also present positive examples of Mobile Device Management (MDM) having an ongoing and direct benefit to end users. By looking at what apps are installed on devices via BMC MDM, I.T. can see popular trends that don’t show up on the corporate app store. Instead of blacklisting, I.T. can then add and even feature this popular downloads on the corporate app store.
  6. Walk the walk, talk the talk, and wear the wearables – Smart watches and Google Glass are the next wave of BYOD. I.T. needs to break out of their aversion of the untested and understand the unique dynamics of the Internet of Things. I recently upgraded my Pebble smart watch to the latest software and in the process how apps work changed dramatically. Before the update, my watch synched directly with the regular smartphone version of an app like my biking app Strava or golfing app Free Caddie. The app sensed the presence of the Pebble and sent pertinent info to the watch face. After the update, apps now reside in a Pebble container with set-up and app interaction buried in a confusing menu structure. Sure helping me find the best hill climb or distance to the 8th green are not the purview of I.T., but it won’t be long before core business apps like Dropbox or Evernote are on these devices.

 

These are just a few ideas of how I.T. can stay ahead of the curve in The New I.T. Era. Tell us your success story and enter to win a set of Beats Headphones. Between February 18 - March 17, BMC Software will give away five Beats Headphones each to BMC followers who share their own #ITforthewin stories

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Alf's Zoo - This week, we continue the series on Internet of Things with Anthony Orr, who explains the zero moment of support (ZMOS). With billions of items coming on line, it'll take more than just a solid help desk to manage our brave new world. We also need to turn the avalanche of data we're collecting into predictive behavior. Deploying a system that converts an event into an automatic action that's based on human needs, not old-fashion SLAs, will allow us to harness the power of the next big thing.

Welcome to the New I.T.

Posted by David Manks Feb 18, 2014
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The more things change…

By now you've heard about how the New IT will make your life easier and solve all of your IT problems and issues, right? How it will give you more time back in your day, make you more productive than ever before, and allow you to actually take a lunch break and even leave work early (okay, maybe just on time) to get to your kid’s soccer game?

 

The better they get.

We have anticipated this revolutionary new world, where digital services not only enhance our lives but actually respond to our specific needs, for years.  The wait is over.  Today, BMC introduced an innovative experience that will truly change the way users interact with IT — a legitimate, authentic, New IT and a more simplified and streamlined process for IT service delivery.

 

But first…

Why do today’s users demand and deserve a better experience from IT? Because they've seen that a better experience exists—when they visit online marketplaces like Amazon, when they search for, purchase, and download apps to their smartphones and tablets, and when they try out some of the booming consumer-friendly businesses sprouting up around the US and around the world; all designed to meet individual needs, in real time, with reviews to report results.

 

Businesses like these succeed because they recognize a consistent and particular area of opportunity and rise to meet it. For example, Uber, the successful venture start up that matches drivers and passengers with car service and car shares, saw that resident taxi services in major cities weren't adequately meeting the needs of commuters and other potential passengers. A simple, easy to use app allows more people to get where they need to go, faster and often in their choice of hired car.

 

Taskrabbit, another popular app, matches pre-screened individual service providers (including home improvement, errands, home office, and more) with customers who are too busy or okay in my case too under-skilled to complete the work themselves. Customers describe their need and set a deadline, and interested “taskrabbits” respond to open jobs. Needs are met quickly, easily, and at a fairly negotiated price, and customers post reviews after jobs are complete.

 

So what can IT learn about how to respond in this age of consumer-driven innovation?

 

  • Users don’t want to wait, especially if they know a service can and should be faster.
  • Users know what they want, and they are the best people to describe their needs.
  • Users want to share their experiences, good and bad.
  • IT can learn from users, and can put that knowledge to work to improve services.
  • IT can benefit from reduced friction with users, reduced downtime, increased productivity, and more time directed to other valuable projects.

 

The era of users passively (or impatiently) waiting for IT to respond to their needs, never sure of where they are in a queue or when they can expect a resolution, is over.

 

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The New IT is:


  • Mobile first.  It must be anytime – anywhere accessible
  • Dynamic. It adapts to preferences for autonomy and insight.
  • Location-aware. Resources are easy to find and services are matched to user parameters.
  • Collaborative and social. Through crowd-sourcing, commenting, and appealing to the “hive mind,” everyone benefits from shared information.
  • Formless. Getting IT needs met is simple, straightforward, and to the point.
  • Personalized. Appointments are made around users’ schedules and preferences.
  • Integrated. A help desk shouldn't be isolated or difficult to find—it should be part of a larger suite of custom, contextually-appropriate offerings.

 

How can organizations deliver these kinds of best-in-class services? Successful outcomes are the result of a willingness to seek opportunities to better serve your users, to be flexible in meeting their needs, to adopt lean practices and methodologies, to keep pace with changing technology (like cloud delivery and ITOM integration), and to look for efficiencies and innovations at every step. When you embrace the New IT, you embrace the renewed significance of best practice service delivery and process automation in the age of digital business.

 

Be sure to check out our exciting new product innovations that can help organizations deliver these kinds of best-in-class services:


BMC MyIT 2.0
BMC MyIT 2.0 is a next-generation self-service app that reduces IT friction, cuts support costs and boosts customer satisfaction. MyIT enables greater business user productivity through social collaboration, more freedom via context aware services and ease of use with formless IT.  Now available with both Remedyforce and Remedy, MyIT 2.0 is currently in beta and will be widely available in April of 2014.  Click here to learn more.

 

Remedyforce Winter 14 Release
Remedyforce Winter ‘14 is the latest release of our fast-growing cloud-based ITSM system built on the Salesforce.com platform. With this new release, MyIT 2.0 and AppZone 2.0 are now fully integrated with  Remedyforce.  Check out the new capabilities in Remedyforce Winter 14.

 

BMC AppZone 2.0
AppZone is a universal app store that gives employees easy access to cloud, mobile, custom and desktop applications. To drive adoption, employees can comment, rate and share apps they enjoy, allowing others to on-board applications based on peer selections. For IT, an enterprise app store provides the ability to procure, publish, secure and manage apps across the organization.  More information on BMC AppZone 2.0.

 

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The New IT


Now that you know what the New IT can be, see how your organization can help define the new standard for service delivery and even join in on the conversation and register to win a Beats Headphones at #itforthewin.   You might just get to leave work early after all.

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Alf's Zoo - This week, Hema Mohan tells us why we suddenly are so interested in the Internet of Things. It's stemming from an explosion of consumer apps, collaboration and the urge for a better life experience. In order to improve our world, we need to add artificial intelligence to previously dumb things to make them cognizant of our needs. Instead of telling us it is empty, the fridge orders a drone to deliver groceries to our home. Eventually, the IoT will reach the business world. And maybe one day, it can benefit our humanitarian causes, too.

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Alf’s Zoo – This week, we’ll kick off a series on the Internet of Things. IT experts and regular folks will join the Zoo to explain what IoT really is? How it will affect our lives at home and work. Its impact on our privacy and security. And how we are going to manage all those billions of things? First out is Bill Emmett, who provides a quick overview and helps me connect IoT to first-class powder skiing.

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I’m really looking forward to what is shaping up to be a lively, irreverent and entertaining discussion with George Spalding of Pink Elephant. We’re going be looking at how the consumers of IT services are playing a major role in shaping strategy and what you should be doing about it. Register to join us for the live webcast on February 5th.

 

We’ll be waxing lyrical on questions such as: Just what do business users expect these days from IT? How reasonable are their demands? And what can you do about it? How far should you go in embracing consumercentricity?   Webinar02.05.jpg

 

OK, I made that last word up, but hopefully you get the point: the more IT becomes THE primary service provider in the workplace, the more attention employees will be focusing on the services your provide and the more they’ll want to have their say. Fun times ahoy!

 

We’ll also be taking the ‘long view’ of this trend and looking at the historical imperative for consumer-driven business transformation: from the supermarket to the information superhighway (what ever happened to that 90s phrase?).

 

Of course, we’ll also have our crystal ball close at hand as we make a few predictions about what might be coming next: What emerging technologies will our customers want to see readily available in the workplace? What might that mean for technology professionals? And will ever stop raining here in the UK?

 

So, go on, register for the webinar and join us live on Wednesday, February 5th at 1pm CT (7pm GMT)

 

I’m looking forward to seeing you (George will be the smartly dressed one and I’ll be the guy in the wetsuit)

 

Cheers

 

Chris

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Alf's Zoo - This week, Jon Stevens-Hall explains how Uber has changed our view of IT and the world. We no longer trust authorities as much as we trust our peers when it comes to selecting tools and services for work and life. Instead of prescriptive measures issued by so-called experts, we now rely heavily on peer-assisted selections, where we rate the vendor - and the vendor rates us. Imagine what customer reviews have done to online shopping, and ask yourself what IT can do to earn back some of the trust from its stakeholders. Jon provides one of the few concrete examples of how the consumerization of IT impact the business.

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Alf's Zoo - This week, Leslie Minnix-Wolfe hunts around the Zoo, talking about application-performance management. We are so dependent on digital services that a few moments of lag make us lose our patience. When we want stuff on the Internet, we want it now. Not five seconds later. APM also helps with compliance, as Leslie shares in a story about alleged HIPAA violations.

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As I was celebrating Cat Herders Day on Sunday (which coincidentally is eerily similar to any other Sunday), I started thinking about how caring for cats is very analogous to an IT department managing BYOD. Hear me out, because this really isn’t much of a stretch.

 

Ask any cat owner, and they’ll tell you cats are a special breed. The saying “like herding cats” is so fitting because it’s perfectly impossible to accomplish. Similarly, in previous posts we’ve discussed at length the complexity and concerns regarding managing BYOD and public clouds.

herding_cats_day_121513.jpg

 

Everyday new devices are introduced, new apps emerge, new cloud solutions arrive and today’s employees are tech savvy enough to find a way to access them. For most IT departments, simply keeping up is a major challenge and, at the worst of times, it can seem like utter chaos – practically impossible. Sound familiar? IT organizations need to be realistic about the level of control they can expect in the modern digital age of self-service. Lock down or complete control versus enablement and support is just not going to fly as an approach to reigning in BYOD or cloud access.

 

Here’s another similarity. Cats are notoriously fickle creatures and will go to great lengths to get what they want. Most cat owners have come to terms with the fact that cats rule the household, dictating terms to the owner as opposed to the other way around. Modern consumers and business users have a similar mind set. Google Drive is forbidden? Time to move on to Dropbox. When Dropbox is blocked, they find whatever file sharing solution was recently launched, sometimes before IT has even realized that it exists or had an opportunity to analyze it.

 

Cats are sneaky. They will hide dark corners and do things behind your back, often after hours or when you are away. While in most cases there is no mal intent, studies have shown that employees frequently ‘sneak’ around company policies, disconnecting from company networks or using personal devices to access blocked sites, apps and tools for business. They see value and increased productivity in having access to these apps and feel hindered by what can seem like arbitrary rules the company put in place to simply forbid everything (e.g. IT’s “Dr. No” reputation) rather than find a way to make it work.

 

From the feline perspective, if you fulfill a need or serve a purpose, you are alright in their book. If cats are incentivized (read: fed & sheltered), they stick around for the long haul. Similarly, enabling and empowering the employee rather than attempting complete control and you just might find happy, cooperative users and a peaceful, productive and happier IT organization.

 

It is worth the time and investment to embrace consumerization and BYOD in a safe and effective manner. The Digital evolution is not going away, but with an effective strategy in place the cats may learn to co-exist peacefully.

 

[Editor’s Note: This post is intended as satire. No cats were harmed during writing. And to anyone offended by being compared to cats, let the record show the author is well aware there are many important traits that separate human behavior from that our furry friends (They can be pretty darn smart though).] 

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It seems that app stores are becoming the favorite gift this holiday season.  App stores are of course well known in the consumer world, and now their popularity is rapidly increasing within enterprise environments.

 

Gartner predicts that one out of four organizations will have an enterprise app store by 2017.  I mean, what company wouldn’t want their own iTunes or “Amazon-like” Marketplace to market and sell their applications and services.

 

Well now they can with BMC Marketplace.  Today BMC announced how BMC Marketplace accelerates the Enterprise App revolution.

 

In the past setting up your own app store to market solutions has been time consuming and very costly to design, develop and deploy.  Onboarding new partners and managing published content also consumes a lot of time.

 

With BMC Marketplace, organizations can now have their own private branded marketplace to market and sell private-label mobile, cloud, custom and desktop applications -- twice as fast as any custom alternative.  How's that for quick time to value?!  Even Santa would be impressed with how fast you got to market.

 

BMC Marketplace.pngMarketplace will present your company's personalized branded image to customers.  Administration overhead is also low to onboard new developers or partner solutions.

 

A few additional gifts from Marketplace include:

 

  • Social capabilities so that customers can see peer ratings and reviews
  • Automated tools that enable partners to easily publish applications, while you retain control over approval and workflow processes
  • Transaction processing and fulfillment including auto provisioning to streamline delivery
  • Even lead distribution and tracking with your partners so you can work jointly on deals

 

All of this expertise and rapid results are available today with BMC Marketplace.  You can even request a
personalized demonstration
, and/or interact with the community.

 

How’s all that for a great holiday gift this holiday season and all year long?

 

Happy and healthy app selling this holiday season.

 

@dmanks

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Alf's Zoo - This week, the Zoo learns about the evolution of social media from Eric Tung, who's been sharing and engaging online for years. Starting as a cool toy, social media is now a key ingredient in any business' success. Actually, our hopes for steady employment is affected by the digital footprint we leave behind. Just like customers walk into stores armed with all the information they need to make a purchase, companies know you better than you think. If Target can figure out that you are pregnant based on buying decisions, Google has a pretty good idea if you'll fit the Borg.