Right now, it is generally far easier for users to get services from Google, Amazon, Microsoft or a variety of questionable service providers than it is through their own IT department. Their frustration generally resides in a number of things: IT people often are connected more tightly to the technology they oversee than the business they are in, creating language barriers; IT is a staff organization often underfunded and understaffed, resulting in it being slow and appearing unresponsive; and external organizations can be more easily designed to satisfy IT’s customers as a result.
BMC’s MyIT is designed to put IT back in the hunt by allowing the organization to match the ease of use of an external service organization in much the same way that this external organization does, by empowering the user to create their own services, but in this case, services that are compliant with company security policies and that don’t bypass IT.
In our new cloud world, the mainframe has a huge advantage in terms of the massive IO that it can support. At its core is the design element that allows it to excel, supporting large numbers of accesses at once. But its problem is that it is about as far from a PC as you are likely to get and the skills needed to create a service on a mainframe are generally tied up in a few overworked people in the IT department who spend most of their time keeping aging applications working.
It could have been personal, but for years the effort seemed to be to create the equivalent of a service priesthood where requests came in and were interpreted by the divine IT staff. What eventually resulted after months, or years, of work had little to do with what had been requested (if the folks were still in the company that requested it, which was often not the case).
What was needed was a way to provide the kind of personalized capability that cloud services provide while retaining the mainframe’s benefits.
MyIT isn’t just for mainframes, but it is here where you’ll see the greatest benefit because mainframes have historically been anything but customer-friendly. If you can fix the lack of responsiveness in a mainframe, doing the same in a more contemporary server ecosystem becomes almost easy by comparison.
What is kind of fascinating is that this particular solution is rather unique with regard to on-premise systems, but it is core to service solutions by third parties like Microsoft Azure. This allows the internal IT organization to compete much better with external service providers and provide something that not only is more customized for the unique needs of the company and user, but also complies with corporate policies and security requirements.
The unique benefits range from improved customer satisfaction (currently only about 35 percent of IT organizations are able to report good customer satisfaction and I expect much of that is due to bad sampling), to dramatically reduced costs resulting from employee self-service. In addition, both line employees and IT employees are more focused on productivity-related tasks rather than pounding on each other because of misunderstandings or IT human resource shortages and both can access services through a variety of mobile devices, allowing them to function better wherever they are.
IT organizations are also strengthened as employees increasingly see them as part of the solution rather than another major problem they have to overcome. And, finally, the strongest benefit is that the result seems to improve employee job satisfaction because both IT and line employees are doing their job more and dealing with problems less.
Wrapping Up: Where Was This 20 Years Ago?
The whole “Death of the Mainframe” cycle was largely started because IT and end users didn’t speak the same language and users jumped to newer technologies so they could configure their own solutions. Had MyIT existed back then, much of this churn could have been avoided and the trend for users to become IT people themselves could have been largely avoided.
The concepts surrounding MyIT likely should be adopted by most systems vendors because the days of IT being able to respond timely to all end-user requests never really existed and the imbalance of increasing requests and lower IT funding suggests the only way to get ahead of what could easily be another IT catastrophe is to give users more control over their own needs. The alternative is that users just bypass IT and that trend doesn’t bode well for the long-term health of IT at all.