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IT Services Need to Get Personal

The way IT services are being delivered, consumed and managed is rapidly changing.  IT organizations today typically set up a few generic services that could be delivered via the Web, while continuing to issue help desk tickets in reaction to specific events. This reactive approach to delivering IT services not only frustrates end users it does little to reduce IT management costs because it doesn’t really enable the IT staff to proactively address IT issues before they become an actual problem.

Against that backdrop it’s worth paying attention to what the folks at BMC Software are talking about with the recent introduction of MyIT, a framework for consistently delivering IT services in a way that can be personalized for each individual end user.

For more years than anyone cares to remember, IT organizations have been moving to embrace structured methodologies for delivering IT services such as the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL). While such methodologies tend to reduce costs by making services more consistent, they don’t provide much in the way of a personal touch to the end user.

MyIT is essentially designed from the ground up to address that issue by giving end users a personal portal through which they can not only stayed informed about IT issues that might affect them, but also, for example, receive notifications about pending support issues or future application upgrades.

According to Bill Emmett, senior manager for solution marketing at BMC Software, the whole goal should be mass customization of IT services in a way that increase end user affinity for the IT organization using Web 2.0 and social networking technologies, while continuing to reduce costs via the construction of standardized IT services. That approach not only reduces calls to the help desk prevents issues from ever occurring in the first place, says Emmett.

Whether it’s provided by an internal IT organization or a managed service provider, all IT support, like politics, is local. What people think about IT directly stems from their last interaction. The SAP applications that run the business may have been consistently up and running for months on end, but if the end users are frustrated when interacting with the IT organization the perception of the IT organization will nevertheless suffer. Unfortunately, just as in any other walk of life, perception is reality. Frustrated end users start looking outside the IT organization for support, where they can now find innumerable services in the cloud to address their issues.

Of course, the IT organization knows those services waste a lot of end user time, which winds up driving up the cost of IT support once you tally up what every end user is spending on so-called “Shadow IT” services.

As a partner of BMC Software, Ingram Micro is gearing up to help solution providers across the channel transform IT services no matter who or how they ultimately get delivered. Whether the solution provider has a vested interest in supportting an internal IT organization or augmenting them with external services, the core issue remains the same: If end users don’t feel cared for they will for better or worse take matters into their own hands. And no matter how that turns out the IT service organization responsible for making sure end users are happy never winds up looking good.

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