Closing the Gaps in IT Management Tools

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Bruce Lichorowic is CEO of San Jose, CA-based Bluehawk Networks.

BRUCE LICHOROWIC
Blue Hawk Networks

It’s the business, not technology first…what a concept! IT services via technology are what matters. IT departments, over the decades, have learned that their sole purpose is supporting the business and their respective users. Unfortunately, some corporate leadership has not learned how important IT departments are and what it takes to deliver IT services accurately. With IT cutbacks in government, state and now private sectors, the overwhelming demand for new services as well as maintaining the existing ones will continue, but with less capital resources. Therefore, the need to streamline and provide cloud IT services remains and will grow.

It’s Time For a Fresh Approach

IT Management is now facing growing complexity of virtual servers, desktops and figuring out how to monitor and manage it all. Additionally, there’s the management of a galaxy of un-integrated communications and computing devices, including smart phones and tablets plus Macs in PC environments. Addressing and solving this double-edged, expanding service/system complexity requires complete access to all information 24/7. Yet, existing legacy tools can be either too expensive to purchase all the modules necessary to run the business or unable to integrate into existing systems (which calls for expensive consultants). This balancing act will also demand a closely integrated tool set including automated resource provisioning, real-time analytics and chargeback implementation within one “single pane of glass,” not numerous open windows.

Of course, the legacy IT tool market leaders tell you, “We’ve been providing these tools for years…we don’t know what you’re talking about.” This may be somewhat true in random combinations but the killer here is the price tag. Also, count on at least a year to install and customize it.

In parallel, CIOs are demanding that one platform be used to run all services. Only problem is, the latest and coolest applications coming out are cloud-based. Yet, what is often installed is on-premise-based legacy systems requiring a full-time team to operate.

For Enterprises Transitioning to the Cloud

The promise of the cloud certainly offers many potential advantages. It can provide greater resource efficiency, power savings, real estate benefits and most of all, it can save a ton of money. However, if the IT infrastructure in an organization is not also managed through the methodical application of best service management practices (ITIL), migration to the cloud will both increase IT overhead as well as headaches.

ITSM Market Convergence
What’s happening in this relatively overlooked market is that for the first time we’re seeing service desk applications being integrated into virtual services, and all being monitored as a Service (MAAS). This coming year will see the inflection point where three previously separate vertical markets converge and positively affect IT management. The three sectors are:

  • Network Monitoring Services, MAAS
  • Virtual Services IAAS
  • ITSM Service Management SAAS

Triple Play

The IT market is at the intersection of the three formerly separate ones shown above. It will provide IT management with an architecture managing and monitoring assets through a single pane of glass and encompassing private, public or hybrid clouds. It will deliver awareness into how computing resources are seamlessly moving data between similar or dissimilar clouds.

More importantly, what’s next in IT tools dramatically enhances the customer experience into the cloud by increasing management capabilities in automatic provisioning of resources, providing real-time analytics and implementing charge-back capabilities so IT can become a profit center rather than a glaring cost. Most significantly, this new architecture rapidly adapts, allowing IT to become the catalyst for business acceleration.

Competitive businesses aren’t silo-ed. Effective IT management continually focuses on integrating all business aspects and managing information seamlessly. Adopting highly integrated IT tool technology makes this possible. As the IT management tool market evolves, essential components will become more and more integrated into ubiquitous information management. Further, an underlying software platform is essential to integrating the triple play in IT tool innovation.

The Bottom Line
The goal has to be increasing productivity with what you have and investing in a fully-integrated IT management system letting the enterprise realize the financial benefits because management truly understands their IT spend and can accurately calculate returns. This is true whether you start with a small group or with the corporate enterprise. It will not happen overnight, but you’ve got to start somewhere.

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