At the BMC Exchange conference this week, BMC revealed it has updated its Helix IT service management (ITSM) platform to include mapping and discovery capabilities. Those updates make it simpler for cross-functional teams to correlate incidents, alerts and data and pinpoint root causes faster.
In addition, BMC is now applying pre-trained artificial intelligence (AI) models to observability data and the service models it tracks to assess service health, predict service impacts and proactively manage IT environments as the volume of metrics, events, and alerts continues to increase.
Finally, BMC also announced that the BMC Helix Control-M orchestration engine now supports open source Apache Airflow, a workflow management platform for defining data pipelines using a Python programming tool.
Margaret Lee, vice president and general manager for digital service and operations management at BMC, said these updates extend a unified ServiceOps initiative the company launched last year to unify ITSM, DevOps and customer service desk workflows. While each of these disciplines may have distinct objectives—such as speed and reliability—that are often in conflict with one another, Lee said it’s apparent IT organizations need to reduce the current level of friction that is often encountered when managing IT.
As a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform, Lee said the BMC Helix platform achieves that goal via a consumer-like user interface that can be easily personalized. The goal is to make it simpler to create virtual agents, knowledge bases, live chat and tickets that make it easy for customers and employees to request IT help, she added.
Achieving that goal, however, will require IT organizations to rely more heavily on AI models to automate routine tasks as IT environments become more complex. There are simply not enough IT professionals available to manage IT environments using legacy processes, she noted.
In addition, end users and customers are expecting service requests to be automated in way that allow them to resolve issues via a mobile device, added Lee. In many cases, how cumbersome IT processes now has a direct impact on both customers and employee retention. The primary goal is to reduce the number of interactions required to complete a task such as changing a password or provisioning a laptop whenever a new employee needs to be onboarded.
While the pace at which IT management is evolving will vary greatly from one organization to the next, it’s apparent that many DevOps principles are being absorbed into traditional ITSM platforms. The challenge is that cultural divide between DevOps teams and centralized IT teams is still very wide. Most organizations are still trying to determine how far left they want to shift responsibilities toward application development teams versus continuing to rely on IT administrators using graphical tools to centrally manage IT workflows. It’s rarely going to be an all-or-nothing proposition. Rather, the issue is finding a way to strike a balance that enables organizations to be as agile as possible without introducing unacceptable levels of risk to resiliency.