• United States

Innovative or just ordinary?

Jun 09, 20043 mins
Data Center

* Reader survey: Are you looking to innovate?

As vendors gear up to deliver on their visions of adaptive enterprises, on-demand enterprises, autonomic computing, automated provisioning and more, it’s interesting to see where users are heading.

The promise of these emerging management technologies is intriguing, yet with the budget constraints that IT organizations have had to deal with lately, I have to wonder if IT organizations are aiming at innovation or just the ordinary. I’ve seen both – some are looking for a revolution, while others are trying to squeeze out more operating expenses and are deploying back-to-basics management tools.

So I’d like to hear about where you and your organization are with regard to some of the new initiatives I mentioned. Are you in the process of adopting or looking to adopt some of these approaches in the near future? Or are these so far out on the horizon or totally out of the question for you and your organization? There’s no right or wrong answer – I just want to see where our readers stand on this topic. If I receive enough responses, I’ll report back on them in a future article.

There’s no question that the economy has dampened adoption of these new directions. IT budgets have scaled back, and in some cases new initiatives have been put on hold.

However, there are other factors that also contribute to slowing the adoption of any new approach: confusion, lack of understanding – and sometimes, it’s just too darn hard to do. Have some of these factors affected your adoption of these new approaches?

At the other end of the scale, some organizations are moving toward these new management and corporate paradigms. The reasons depend on the company. Some want to more efficiently use IT resources. Others want to create a competitive advantage. Alternatively, increased service levels are also responsible for adoption by some companies. If your company is headed in this direction, what have you adopted so far and where are you heading? Why?

Finally, there is a fundamental shift that must happen before truly automated/on-demand/adaptive IT infrastructures are possible: user acceptance and trust in such systems taking actions automatically. We use this type of technology in our everyday lives – thermostats for our heating and cooling systems, generators in hospitals that automatically turn on when the power goes out, automation in manufacturing processes, etc. However, there seems to be some resistance in many IT shops to use automation, while others embrace it but within certain limits. While you may trust a script that you wrote and use regularly to restart a non-critical server, would you trust a management system to automatically provision and de-provision critical servers under your care? There is a wide disparity in opinions about automation and how much ITers are willing to delegate to non-human systems. So the fundamental questions that I’d like to hear about are: How much are you willing to let management systems do automatically for you? And what would it take for you to allow the management systems to automatically take actions in response to IT events, etc.?

Please send me your thoughts on the topics discussed above to

I’m anxious to hear from you.