Kickstart Conference Australia, a unique concept

March 4, 2013

Recently I attended Kickstart conference in Australia. Kickstart is an annual gathering of technology journalists from Australia and NZ regions. This is quite a unique conference format and I have not seen a similar gathering anywhere else in the world. The tech journalist community in ANZ region is relatively small and very closely knit. The format of the conference is also very interesting. Presenters get only 5-7 minutes to make their pitch and there are strict guidelines around what you are allowed to present. Pitching your company or pushing your products is a strict no-no. And the audience is one of the tougest audience to present to since they already know all the facts, figures and hot trends. Using buzz words is an instant turn off for this audience and they make it abundantly obvious in real time on the twitter-universe! Even then, this is one of my most favorite conferences to attend since it always challenges me to be at my best! Here I am sharing with you all a trascript of my presentation at this conference.

Kickstart 2013 Speech

Sunshine Coast, Australia. February 17th, 2013

Mandatory time limit for the Speech: 5 minutes

Audience: Tech Journalist from Australia/NZ Region

This is my second time at Kickstart conference and am very happy to be here. I have a dual role at BMC Software. I am the CTO for the region and I also run the Incubation team globally for BMC Software. Because of these roles, I get the opportunity to meet with hundreds of CIOs around the world and it is my job to track the evolution of Enterprise IT. So what I am going to share with you in next five minutes is what I feel is the Past, present and future of Enterprise Service Management.

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If you look at where we have come from in last 10-15 years, we have made great progress. IT organizations in the past had no processes, no standardization, no virtualization, no automation. From there we have made significant progress towards using ITIL process frameworks and ITSM products. Most organizations around the world now enjoy the benefits of Virtualization and many of them have implemented Automation. This has resulted in great efficiencies in the way IT is run! It has been a great journey!

 

I characterize the past as teething and growing up issues. If you consider that we are in 2013 and entering teen years, we have new sets of issues to deal with.

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If you look at the present, Mobile devices in an enterprise are exploding. Some organizations now have more mobile devices that they have to support than the laptops and desktops that they have. Think of it, we all went from desktop to laptop. That shift was unique because we REPLACED desktops with laptops. However what we are seeing today is that we are ADDING more devices without retiring the old one. So now I have a laptop, an iPad and a smart phone! So I just went from one device to three devices. This becomes a massive challenge when you have thousands of employees to support.

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Cost structures continue to be the challenge for IT. Despite all the efforts, keeping the lights on still constitutes about 2/3rd of the overall IT spend. So how do you support these new services with the 1/3rd of the budget?

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Agility is another trend that the IT has to cope up with. This is a great example of something that has become very critical in last 4 years. Four years ago most of the focus was on efficiency and automation. And what it enables is Agility. Ability to take an idea, building an idea, deploying an idea and getting value out of that idea in a very short duration is what the market demands and IT needs to respond to it.

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We all know that the amount of data is exploding. I believe it was only last year that the number of connected devices exceeded human population. All these connected devices are producing vast amounts of data. And this is causing explosion of data in an enterprise. And lastly cloud has raised the expectations of service delivery like never before.

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However even today, running an IT organization requires expert level knowledge. Think of it as a cockpit of an airplane, there are 100s of levers, buttons and controls to manage.

While we acknowledge that it is complex to run an IT organization, think of the experience of the end user of IT. In all through the past and present journey of IT, the end user, the actual consumer of IT services has been largely ignored!

 And this is more important NOW than ever before. WHY? Because while IT was ignoring the end user experience, the end user expectations have changed dramatically. We at the Office of the CTO have been observing this change very closely and it is amazing how much shift that has happened in last 3-5 years in terms of user expectations. Today the user has a much better IT experience at home than at work. This is a FUNDAMENTAL shift and is going to drive lot of expectations from Enterprise IT in the coming year.

Just like my kids, anyone who is born on/after 2007 is known as the smart phone generation. 2007 is when the first iPhone was released and it revolutionized the smart phone adoption and since then the world has not looked back. Smart phone generation is growing up with completely different expectations than what we have today!

Also the collaboration platforms that we have gotten all used to in our personal lives, whether it is facebook, twitter or whatsapp is raising expectations. Employees are coming into enterprise environment and asking why can’t they connect with their peers, partners and even customers the same way they can in their personal lives.

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I am sure many of you will associate with this picture where at some point of time we all felt that we can be more productive by smuggling in our own device to work! J BYOD, bring your own device is well known now. But it does not stop there, it is bring your own applications and bring your own identity in the corporate or enterprise IT world. Today, I have a facebook identitiy, a twitter identity, a linked in persona and a corporate identity. I need all these identities to co-exist and accessible from work! While all of us would like to have the freedom of choosing the device we want, do you know what the CIOs think of BYOD? They call it Bring Your Own Disaster or Bring Your Organization Down! They have their own concerns of BYOD.

 

You must have heard the term Shadow IT, which is when users circumvent IT policies and process in order to get their work done. We have seen this with our customers where people started procuring servers using their credit cards on public clouds because their internal IT was too slow to respond. That is shadow IT. But IT Friction is also on the rise. IT Friction is when users feel that they are not getting the services they need from their IT department and hampering down their productivity. According to the analysts, IT Friction is causing as much as 20% loss of productivity!

 

So how should IT of tomorrow work?

  • IT needs to provide their users with the self service experience they desire from anywhere, anytime.
  • Expectations from IT is such that it will be able to deliver new applications faster than ever before.
  • And IT cannot get constrained by physical limitations of size, location. They should be able to flex their resources beyond their four walls.

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This is what we call the transformation of front end and back end of IT.

So here is my prediction for the coming years. In order to survive and thrive, IT organizations need to become easy to operate, easy to use for the IT operators. For the end users, they need to become almost invisible and sort of magical!

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This is what we call MyIT, which we are bringing to the market in coming months. In the coming year, we at BMC Software are going to lead this transformation of the back end and front end of IT. And I look forward to your support! Thank you very much!

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