Nick Utton: BMC believes Digital Enterprise Management will be driven by IT and business
In an exclusive interview with IDG, Nick Utton, CMO, BMC Software, shares his thoughts on why BMC Software is excited about taking its Digital Enterprise Management platform to the CIO audience, while also gradually helping IT talk seamlessly to the Lines of Business

BMC has recently developed a new strategic blueprint called the Digital Enterprise Management . What shaped this concept and what, in your idea, is DEM in its current form?

We are on a journey, that is a marathon, not a sprint. For, many years we had BSM, which became outdated and less relevant over time. We believed we needed a new and improved strategic blue print - that being Digital Enterprise Management. We took a step back and realized that we needed to come up with an umbrella where workload automation, performance availability etc worked. 

In a competitive marketplace, we felt we need to exploit and take advantage of the disruptive changes that were happening – the Uberization of the market, e-comm digitization and new monetization models – analyst numbers are startling revelations; we have had conversations with the likes of Zinnov, and the understanding of potential has undergone a shift. So, then we evolved this roadmap to help enterprises traverse mainframe –to mobile- to cloud to beyond. 

If we are asked, what are the components Digital enterprise automation? Is it ITSM replaced? No, it is ITSM, in its digital format, a categorization of DEM. We haven’t created anything new, just repositioned and categorized what exists. DEM, as an umbrella, is a way of doing things – fast, optimized, seamless. Very few solution providers have got the entire mix of DEM, comprising Digital Enterprise Automation, Digital Service Management, Digital Infrastructure Optimization, Digital Service Assurance and Analytics, Orchestration and Policy, each category consisting of tools and framework that will help enterprises move to cloud and after. 

How did you get the Digital Enterprise Management conversation kick started and with which communities?

The current orchestration of DEM actually underwent 5 rounds of iteration. 

We took DEM in its formative phase to the analyst community and asked for feedback.  We approached our large customers such as Vodafone. With traditional businesses changing to new models, Vodafone came back with valid questions such as their return, the value attached to DEM and what is in it for them. We realized we had silo sets in Workload Automation, ITSM and Mainframe. 

We then did a vertical analysis asking ourselves what is in it for customers vertical wise? The common thought was we can’t just go out there and sell silos. One CDO said, “We don’t need a huge POC, we know 150,000 are using MyIT”. The rationale was we had to demonstrate a next gen piece to customers that brings all that we had, together, unite the silos into more meaningful units.  Then, we had to build use cases. That was when we consciously evolved our case videos (such as BT) to help CIOs, CTOs and the CDOs, to understand what DEM is going to look like.  
DEM, in its present form, is a result of all these extensive conversations with the industry. 

When you said “verticalization”, what was the inference to – focus on verticals or customization for verticals? 

Verticalization is both, in the sense that what works for one vertical may not work for another in the same sense. The challenge there was to build case studies beyond mono line, and look at each focus vertical thread bare – telecom, health care, BPO, financial services – and see what DEM could uniquely do for each and what we should to make it work uniquely for each. 

How is BMC’s DEM story different from, say, what an IBM or HP is doing?

We are doing our journey in mainframe, mobile and cloud, in what we believe is a comprehensive play through DEM. It is perfectly acceptable for customers to opt for piecemeal through other vendors. It is a choice they make depending on what they may want. 

If you look at IBM or HP, they typically lock-in through their hardware and then bundle the software. Whereas, BMC software is 100% focused on software, in developing a DEM platform. We have invested top-bottom in this. Isn’t that in itself a fundamental difference? 

How do you view India as a growth market? 

India is a digitally transforming market. Apart from the high end verticals, the start-up scenario is phenomenal.  Even with the strategic Indian outsourcers, they are big and addressing markets such as North America and Europe. 

India is where a lot of the talent pool is coming from. The emphasis is not in having just pools of people doing marketing, but also contributing. Our CoE in Pune is excellent in terms of the delivery it can give to BMC, alongside Houston, San Jose, Tel Aviv and Ukraine. On a scale of 1-10, India will very obviously tilt to the second half of the scale. 

So, given your huge mammoth experience as a marketing man, someone who has championed legendary campaigns in B2C, what do you think of the thought about whether DEM will be driven by IT or by business?

Both. Recently Gartner came out with a study, stating that the CMO, by end of 2016, will account for 30 percent of all IT spending. I believe that a more prudent number would be greater than 10 percent and that number is growing.  

While most discussions were CTO driven 10 years ago, CEOs will be compelled to take a look at other personas.  However, we have a mandate that is clear, that we endorse a dual track approach, meaning, the non-CIO sees the message, but the CIO remains critical for decision. There is so much of role-play in IT, new models coming up – IT organization within an enterprise is best equipped to handle the shifts. We will talk to the CXO audience, but will clearly go back to the CIO. 

So, if BMC is thinking out of the box, what are the trigger points?

A lot of innovation is happening around us and people are discussing and debating. We need to look at the potential of the wearables market – where is our role play in speed and transformation out there?  

There is a lot of learn from retail giants such as Target, who have taken IT to a new level. Target is today not known as a mere retailer. They have some of the best incubation programs. Someone like a Mastercard, in 2 years from now, will have a global center in India that is possibly going to be bigger than the one they have at St Louis, implying they are ready to derive leverage from here.  The idea in new age business is to look for sustainable models and not flimsy ideas that will fall like a pack of cards. We have to reconfigure our incubation programs too. 

Shantheri Mallaya is Associate Editor, IDG Media. You can reach her at or follow her on twitter @Shaanemaan