Not a single European user organisation has met its original objectives when introducing integrated systems management software, and 30 per cent have seen their projects fail completely.
And this situation is likely to continue for the next year or so, until companies become aware of the complexity involved in implementing such software across different technology domains, and the costs associated with doing so, according to Tom Scholtz, Meta Group?s programme director for systems management software.
?IT organisations need to understand that systems management is not just about tools, it?s also about a mix of people and processes, and if they don?t realise that, their project will fai," Scholtz said.
"Organisations need to understand that IT is related to business value and any larger company has to implement systems management to get their environments under control. But, it?s not cheap, fast or easy to implement and it changes the way the support organisation does its business over time,? he explained.
As far as software is concerned, the main reasons for project failure are vendor hype and the fact that systems management tools do not deliver on their promised functionality.
Vendors also do not have the resources to help customers deploy, install and customise the software because most are under strain and growing too quickly to cope.
From an internal perspective, however, most user organisations neglect the people and process issues and build up unrealistic expectations of what systems management software can achieve.
Instead, they would be better off changing their organisational structures, their management processes and the way the IT department functions and operates.
But, too many IT professionals simply reach for a software tool to solve their problems, while they would derive more benefit from defining their management processes first to understand what is happening in the organisation.
They should also have a blueprint document outlining what they want to achieve, which they can also use as a communications tool to help clarify aims. This is particularly necessary with individual lines of business, where many projects stall because key personnel refuse to cooperate.
IT managers also have a habit of underestimating the skills needed to work with such complex software and do not appreciate the need for training and experience to ensure successful deployment.
This is compounded by the fact that most IT staff are grouped into technology-based teams such as databases or mainframes, which does not reflect the organisational structure and makes the introduction of end-to-end systems management more difficult.
Another classic mistake for organisations is throwing the baby out with the bathwater and getting rid of all the point solutions they have acquired over the years to start from scratch. These point solutions could often have provided a solid and cheaper foundation to implement an integrated systems management solution, Scholtz explained.
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