The ‘Genius Bar’ Effect on IT Service Management

    As Apple gains more market share, more end users are experiencing the level of IT support provided by the Genius Bar that Apple has set up in its retail stores. Unfortunately, for many IT organizations that experience is starting to set some IT support expectations that most of them can’t currently match.

    The folks at BMC Software, however, are arguing that this is a temporary phenomenon. The company recently released a series of upgrades to its suite of IT service management products that IT organizations can deploy on premise or in the cloud to support employees using a raft of mobile computing devices.


    As part of that effort, BMC is now offering BMC Mobile Device Management, which makes it easier for IT to separate the management of corporate and personal data on a mobile computing device. According to Matt Dircks, vice president of products for BMC Software, IT organizations have less command and control over the IT environment. And unlike the Genius Bar, where you have to make an appointment to get your problems addressed, employees need their problems addressed immediately in order to remain productive. This means internal IT falls victim to the tyranny of the urgent, says Dircks.  And woe to the IT organization that winds up losing an employee’s personal data while delivering that support.

    Rather than ditch existing investments in service desk software to address these issues, Dircks argues that IT organizations are looking to extend those investments to support a brave new world of mobile computing. That may mean taking a more outside-in versus inside-out approach to supporting end users, but that needs to be accomplished in the least disruptive way possible to existing internal IT support operations.

    Ultimately, Dircks says that will mean taking a hybrid approach to IT support that uses software deployed both on premise and in the cloud, especially when it comes to supporting highly mobile employees.

    In effect, the days when IT organizations could take a totalitarian approach to supporting IT are essentially over. There are still a myriad of security and compliance issues that need to be addressed, but the issue is no longer how rigorously IT can enforce a policy; the issue is finding a way to enable a process by minimizing as much risk to the business as possible, while still providing a high-quality IT experience.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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