• United States

Just the ordinary

Jun 23, 20044 mins
Data CenterRegulation

* Readers weigh in on vendors’ management initiatives

Two weeks ago, I asked readers where they are with regard to some of the new management initiatives being put forth by vendors, such as Adaptive Enterprise and On Demand. From the responses I received, it looks like most of you are still trying to deal with the ordinary stuff that IT organizations have to deal with, rather than moving toward these new initiatives.

Here’s some of the feedback.

A commitment to IT from company managers is fundamental to IT delivering effective service in support of the business. Without full support from the company’s management, IT simply can’t come close to delivering the potential value that it offers to the business.

For example, one reader found a mess when he first joined his company. He has begun to get things under control, but there’s a lot more work ahead to make processes more efficient. He’s had several things on his to-do list for at least a year, “but there haven’t been any funds or priorities put on IT. It has been an uphill battle just getting management to recognize the importance of these issues, even though I’ve done ROI [analysis], etc…Automation? I’m still trying to get reports generated automatically. Adaptive network? I’d like to be able to see the network traffic. To get the things done that need to be done, I need people that can do the job and the money that the projects require. I haven’t had either.”

He also mentions that it will be at least 12 to 18 months before he can even think about the new gadgets. So if you’re in the company’s executive management team and you’re not getting much value out of your IT team, first take a look at your financial and priority commitment to IT. It may not be the fault of IT – the fault could be in your lack of commitment to IT.

Another reader takes issue with the high-end management initiatives and tools as being only relevant for the Fortune 50 and not the masses. He also takes issue with management tools that are not designed with the customer in mind, making them difficult to use, useless or difficult to deploy.

He goes on to identify three problems with the network management industry. First, things are too complex; it takes too much time and knowledge to get it right. He’d like the vendors to deliver something that works well. Second, software is too costly and doesn’t do enough without customization. Third, he says he’s tired of marketing hype and jargon that shifts focus away from the functionality of the product. This reader touts lower-end management tools (in the $10,000 to $20,000 range) as providing good value and being good enough to get the job done. Some of the tools that he likes in this category are What’s Up Gold, SolarWinds Orion and CiscoWorks LMS.

Yet another reader lamented the negative effects of regulatory compliance on IT budgets and staffs. He says, “All industries… are under attack by Sarbanes-Oxley. Software and hardware purchases in the foreseeable future will be geared toward fulfilling government regulations imposed by this over-the-top legislation and/or some facet of it. It has already started. The cost to U.S. industries will be in the billions… and that’s before any software is developed and put in place to achieve the bill’s ultimate goals… And guess where the estimated $1.6 million [per] large company to get this all done is going to come from!” 

From the limited sample of responses I received from readers, it looks like you’re up to your eyeballs dealing with “just the ordinary” and trying to keep your heads above water. Bread-and-butter management tools (if you get the money to purchase them) are still the order of the day.

Interestingly, I didn’t receive any responses from readers who are planning to start down the Adaptive or On Demand path.

Many thanks to our readers who shared their thoughts and opinions. You’ve provided some interesting perspectives.