Feeds

Systems monitoring: what’s possible, and what really happens

Can we do more?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

Workshop IT increasingly plays a pivotal role in business processes. The importance of systems to the efficiency of business operations makes maintaining the quality of service delivered by IT platforms a matter of mounting attention and concern. How can systems managers ensure this quality, especially with the expanding use of virtualisation solutions, the potential impact of “cloud” based tools and rapidly changing business needs?

The starting point is to ensure that the IT team has deployed (the easy bit), and is using effectively (the harder bit), management tools that are modern, consolidated and integrated to administer the entire service delivery stack. Indeed, this requirement is anything but new, yet many organisations remain dissatisfied with the management tools that they use to administer IT systems operations. This disconnect between systems and management tools is critical for a number of reasons.

The greatest dissatisfaction tends to be around the day-to-day grind of operations such as IT asset management and software licensing and distribution. The difficulty this presents is that these are not new, emerging technology areas, presenting challenges because they are immature and fast-changing. Rather they are well-established, mature areas of IT that are particularly challenging to manage and which have enjoyed relatively little attention. This makes the type of dynamism that IT is looking to achieve in the face of changing demands from the business difficult to achieve in practice.

It is worth noting that, in many organisations, there is far more dissatisfaction than satisfaction across almost the entire scope of management technologies. This dissatisfaction is even more apparent when looking at the systems management tools available to handle emerging areas such as “performance management” and “virtualisation management”. It will be interesting to monitor whether this proportion increases or decreases over the course of the next couple of years, especially as organisations look to make more effective use of their virtualised platforms to support changing business demands.

Management integration is a major bugbear too. It is by focusing on improving the integration between tool sets and systems, rather than ever increasing feature counts, that service quality can be driven up. However, the challenge is scaling the integration. We tend to see that when more structure and process is required to manage IT, then the headcount required goes up too, particularly as the size of the company increases. There is a lot of manual intervention required to make things work, and this makes scaling management a major headache. It is also clear that few organisations have access to suitable “best practice” experience to scale their administrative operations.

However, we also find that senior management too often neglects to approve funding for investing in management tools, not realising the link between the tools and the quality of IT service delivery. So the challenge becomes partly political in building the case for the tools needed for management transformation.

As one systems manager said, “The importance of systems management cannot be overlooked, but in the current times of downturn and budget cuts, it is one of those things that can be set aside for the time being.” Systems monitoring tools are the unsung and unseen backbone of IT systems that allow organisations to work effectively - yet we still have problems explaining their true value and importance.

From both personal experience and past research it is clear that making a business case to acquire, implement and run systems management solutions is never an easy task. In times such as these when IT funding in general is under pressure it can be nearly impossible to compete successfully with other solutions that are perceived by the business to be of higher priority. That said, the effective deployment and utilisation of systems management tools holds the potential to deliver significant business benefits as organisations seek to become more responsive to changing market conditions. The task is to communicate the benefits that can be delivered by investments on systems management in a way that both management and the business find to be compelling. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
Shaves price, not screen on mid-2014 model
Top Gun display for your CAR: Heads-up fighter pilot tech
Sadly Navdy kit doesn't include Sidewinder missile to blast traffic
iPhone 6 flip tip slips in Aussie's clip: Apple's 'reversible USB' leaks
New plug not compatible with official Type-C, according to fresh rumors
FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'
Wow, it looks like nothing else on the market, for sure
YES YES YES! Apple patents mousy, pressure-sensing iVibrator
Fanbois prepare to experience the great Cupertin-O
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
Things are looking up in Flappy Bird sequel
'Swing Copters' offers the same gameplay but in a different direction
NVIDIA claims first 64-bit ARMv8 SoC for Androids
Mile-High 'Denver' Tegra K1 successor said to rival PC performance
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.