Traditional Network/System Management Platform Failures Drive SaaS and Managed Service Alternatives
The findings of a 2006 survey recently released by Gartner has brought renewed attention to the fundamental shortcomings of today’s major network/system management (NSM) platforms from companies such as IBM, HP, CA and BMC.
The survey found that 40% gave their NSM vendors a mediocre “C” and nearly 30% of the respondents gave their vendors a “D” because of their frustrations with the costs and hassles involved in deploying and administering the vendors’ platforms.
These frustrations aren’t news. When I was the director of strategic marketing at International Network Services (INS), we were the first company to rollout a network performance management software service on a subscription pricing basis in response to these same frustrations. Our EnterprisePRO solution was unveiled in 1996, prior to the advent of the managed service provider (MSP) and application service provider (ASP) ideas.
Unfortunately, although there were plenty of IT managers and business executives who were dissatisfied with the total cost of ownership (TCO) and return on investment (ROI) of their NSM platforms, most were unwilling to entrust their NSM responsibilities to remote services offered by unproven providers. This led INS to convert its EnterprisePRO software service into a shrink-wrap software product, incorporating the application performance management capabilities we acquired as a part of VitalSigns into our solution. This same customer resistance led to the collapse of the MSP/ASP business with the demise of the dot.com era.
Today, we are living in a different economic, business and technological climate. Most organizations would prefer to offload the hassles of day-to-day IT operations, especially if they can find someone who can do it better and cheaper. An indication of this change in attitude can be found in Gartner’s survey which found many IT managers are considering open source and software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions. This confirms THINKstrategies’ research which has found the same attitudinal changes are fueling the growing receptivity toward managed services as well.
Click here to read my latest commentary in NetworkWorld on this topic and learn about some of the new SaaS solutions aimed at helping IT managers overcome their NSM frustrations.