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Predictions Series 2022: AiThority Interview with Margaret Lee, GM & SVP, Digital Service and Operations Management at BMC Software

Margaret Lee, GM & SVP, Digital Service and Operations Management at BMC Software

Please tell us about your role at BMC Software. How did you arrive at BMC Software?

As the Senior Vice President and General Manager of Digital Service and Operations Management for BMC, I am responsible for the full suite of BMC Helix solutions for IT service management and IT operations management. Prior to joining BMC, I was the general manager for Mapbox, a SaaS platform for mapping, location data and navigation, supporting a variety of consumer and enterprise applications.

What kind of challenges did you face during the pandemic and how did you stay on top of your game?

As a company, the realities of COVID-19 forced organizations to adapt and evolve to meet the shifts in people, technologies, data, devices and an ever-expanding network. It challenged us to create a new normal for organizations, where every company is quickly becoming a technology-driven company with a data driven culture.  We’ve learned that strong leadership in times of adversity ensures an enriching employee experience and provides personal and professional support to our greatest asset, our people. We rely on strong leaders to communicate critical updates, facilitate collaboration, and obtain employee feedback to improve technologies and automation. They are encouraged to increase training and development opportunities for their teams, so they remain efficient, effective, collaborative, and creative. We’ve also learned the importance of proactive communication with partners and customers especially when face-to-face interaction was limited or non-existent.

Finally, like all other organizations around the world, operational and IT agility proved to be a paramount enabler or disabler of the business. Our business was built to be agile and responsive, and we learned that this preparation and mindset allowed us to make data-driven decisions that supported business continuity and kept our customers top-of-mind. With every business decision made, we consider how it supports and advances our ability to anticipate and adjust to customer needs, market changes, and global issues.

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Please tell us how you define Sustainable IT and AIOps innovations at BMC Software?

BMC Software believes that AIOps can help IT Operations lead their company’s evolution into an autonomous digital enterprise by embracing intelligent, tech-enabled systems across every facet of the business. ITOps teams are facing a huge surge in operational data volumes, increased complexities of IT environments, and large demand for manual operational tasks. AIOps can help by applying intelligence, machine learning, and advanced analytics to monitoring, resource planning, and automation. It helps ITOps teams reduce alarm noise, find root causes faster, reduce MTTR, and keep stringent SLAs today’s users expect.

When it comes to sustainable IT businesses must consider sustainability as making decisions based on the ethics and responsibility of your business, from your ecological footprint to your global business practices. For example, in software development, sustainability factors into eco-design principles, such as leveraging modern agile software methodologies and emphasizing modular code and code reuse for cloud and software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings. Software ownership, which includes development, operation and maintenance costs, also has opportunities for improvement through automation. Automating testing, maintenance and continuous deployment processes can help organizations achieve better sustainability by reducing energy consumption.

Do you think CIOs should pay more attention to the role of AI and ML for IT automation? How do you bring these capabilities together at BMC Software?

AI and ML play an essential role in IT automation. With ML-driven IT Operations, businesses can obtain insights from ever-increasing data to drive cost and efficiency gains. Enterprises can use AI and ML-based alert noise reduction, root cause analysis, and predictive recommendations to ensure service performance, optimization, and automation. At BMC we bring together these capabilities in several ways one is through AIOps. AIOps solutions from BMC apply machine learning and predictive capabilities across IT operations and DevOps environments for real-time, enterprise-wide observability, insights, and automated remediation. Through this, BMC can provide visibility and generate proactive insights across the entire application structure, from cloud to data center to mainframe.

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We are seeing a rampant attack on IT infrastructure, and they are hardly ceasing. What should CIOs and CISOs do to prevent attackers from taking down databases?

Security Assessments are only getting more critical as organizations are tasked to secure an increasingly complex and expanding attack surface. To manage this workload, and better prevent attackers, successful organizations are investing in SecOps automation solutions to dramatically enhance the output and prioritization of their limited human capital. Simply knowing that there is a vulnerability is not enough. Tooling that provides business criticality and insight allows SecOps teams to prioritize efforts and further reduce organizational risk beyond a standard security assessment.

What are two Macro Trends in the IT business and AI innovation fields that would be influential to your business / marketplace in 2023?

One macrotrend in the IT business space is the focus on data in an organization. Statista reports that every person creates 97 zettabytes of data by the end of this calendar year. This creates an immense opportunity if we can capture, analyze, and apply it through the use of AI for better business results.

But businesses cannot deliver digital experiences on the front end without also putting the right tools and processes in place to digitally transform the back end. In 2023 adoption of AIOps capabilities will increase as implementation barriers decline and organizations see clearer value from their investments. AIOps will enable IT operations to support increasingly digital businesses by intelligently analyzing large volumes of data, learning system behaviors, and automatically recommending actions both proactively to prevent system failures as well as faster resolution if an issue does occur. As a result, organizations can embrace new application architectures and increasingly complex, hybrid ecosystems while ensuring that IT operations keeps pace with the needs of the business and evolving customer demands. This enables great customer and employee experience for both systems of engagement and systems of record environments.

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Share one piece of advice to every decision maker looking to invest in AUTOMATION and AI platforms in 2023?

IT automation uses AI and machine learning to enable data-driven business decisions, enhance quality, reduce unnecessary manual labor, empower employees, and optimize IT resources. I would advise any IT decision maker to ensure they are using enterprise software that will help them execute with efficiency and scale, free up employees from mundane tasks, reduce costs, and improve customer interaction.

Thank you, Margaret! That was fun and we hope to see you back on soon.

[To share your insights with us, please write to]

Margaret is SVP and GM of Digital Service and Operations Management of BMC Software. She business unit GM with P&L responsibilities for the company’s full suite of Helix solutions for IT service management and IT Operations management.

Before joining BMC, Margaret was the general manager for data services at Mapbox, a SaaS platform for mapping, location data, and navigation, supporting a variety of consumer and enterprise applications.

Previously, she led global product management, strategy, and customer success teams for CA Technologies Continuous Delivery business unit, with products for testing, release, and deployment. At Splunk, she started and led the Product team for Splunk Cloud and Splunk’s SaaS applications. Earlier in her career, Margaret was part of the original development team that started and grew Oracle’s Fusion Middleware product suite, from an internal start-up to a $4 billion per year business. She was also a development manager at a technology pre-IPO start-up that went public, and a consultant at McKinsey & Company, where she focused on technology and financial services projects and clients.

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BMC helps customers run and reinvent their businesses with open, scalable, and modular solutions to complex IT problems. BMC works with 86% of the Forbes Global 50 and customers and partners around the world to create their future. With our history of innovation, industry-leading automation, operations, and service management solutions, combined with unmatched flexibility, we help organizations free up time and space to become an Autonomous Digital Enterprise that conquers the opportunities ahead.

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