Feeds

Are you delivering IT and creating wiggle room?

Making the business case for management tools

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Workshop According to Freeform Dynamics research, many IT departments are seeking to become better aligned with business needs and are looking to ensure that systems and IT resources are being deployed more dynamically to support fluctuating business goals.

One of the critical success factors will be investing in up–to-date, and crucially, integrated management tools: only in this way will IT managers and administrators obtain a significant influence on the ability to deliver IT services in a cost effective manner.

Sound sensible? Certainly, but our research tells us that many companies have no clear view on how to articulate the benefits of doing so, ending up with piecemeal evolution and fragmentation of their management tools, which in turn leads to difficulties delivering on what the business needs from IT.

The figure below shows that current attitudes may not be compatible with managing IT service delivery effectively, never mind the greater task of optimising resource alignment with business priorities. A significant number of organisations see plenty of room for their management tool usage to be supplemented, even in simpler areas of systems administration. For example, we know that software asset management is not used effectively by many organisations, despite its ability to reduce software license spend and minimise potential legal embarrassment. Equally the use of IT resource consumption tools and the reporting on IT services are also remarkably low, despite the fact that such tools have potential roles to play in “charge back” scenarios or in IT budget justification processes.

From the figure, we can see how IT managers recognise that the tools they use to manage their systems are likely to be asked to do more in the future, not less, as the business looks for IT to become more responsive to changing requirements. In addition, the pressure to reduce operational costs increases the need for tools to help automate IT management processes. It should also be noted that new technologies such as virtualisation are enhancing the requirement for such tools to be better integrated across the systems management domain.

Given that the need for better systems management tools is clear, will investment in them be forthcoming? Perhaps not. We know from our own experience, anecdotal stories and research evidence that making the case for procuring new systems and service management solutions is rarely straightforward.

There is also evidence that IT is most successfully aligned with the business when investment in up-to-date management tools is a continuous cycle, happening all the time or on an annual basis, rather than just on a three year or upgrade cycle. However, our investigations have highlighted that few business managers recognise the link between the effective use of good systems management tools and the quality of the IT services they enjoy. And meanwhile, a significant proportion of organisations have not made major investments in their systems management tools within the last three years.

In some scenarios it may be possible to use “wiggle room” in the existing budget to deliver better integration between management tools. If well handled it may be possible to free up other areas of budget, for example by reducing operational costs as a consequence of better systems management to allow for investment in tools or integration. Whilst possible in theory, we have to recognise that not all organisations permit such a degree of flexibility within the overall spend.

While few administrators are happy with what they have available to them today, it is apparent that many IT systems managers need to improve how they make the business case for investment in systems management tools, as well as communicating the business benefits of using these systems effectively. Without doing so, they may simply be condemning themselves to more of the same in the future. For some, the vision of more dynamic IT may remain a long way off. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft – A jolly little war for lunchtime
Free-to-play WoW turn-based game when you have 20 minutes to kill
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.