Users are being confronted with sky high prices from systems management vendors because competition in the market is declining.
Tom Scholtz, senior program director at Meta Group, told the UK Computer Measurement Group (UKCMG) annual conference in York that mergers between leading suppliers have reduced competition and sent prices skyrocketing.
"One US firm calculated it would be cheaper to hire a member of staff to sit by a server all day than buy a systems management suite," said Scholtz.
Users are being hit with prices up to $20,000 (£12,000) per server, he said.
Some analysts agree, but others say that users will not survive without a flexible systems management framework - whatever the cost.
Mike Thompson, research manager at analyst Butler Group, said: "This is market forces, the law of supply and demand. Why should IT vendors be charities?"
Systems management software supplier Computer Associates said its prices have been static since last year. It also pointed out that since last April it has offered standalone products which can be bought separately and fitted into the Unicenter framework.
Hewlett-Packard had a similar story. HP's program manager for its Openview systems management software, Godfrey Jordan, said: "It's a tough market out there. There is still lots of competition. Most deals are fiercely fought."
For more stories see this week's issue of Computing
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