The majority of IT managers are dissatisfied with their distributed systems management software, but should be careful when introducing new applications because the corporate landscape is changing as a result of the Internet.
Current problems centre on a lack of standards, point products that are unable to work together, and poor software distribution and deployment capabilities at the desktop level, according to a report by market research firm, Forrester Research, entitled 'Managing Internet Computin'.
Other issues cited by the 50 IT managers questioned in US-based Fortune 1000 companies include the inability of the software to deal with heterogeneous environments because most could look after only one platform.
Products were also generally found to be poor at isolating the source of problems, which were mainly found by a process of elimination.
Jon Olsik, senior analyst with Forrester, said: ?But, the problems aren?t all to do with software. Many IT managers say they don?t have the budget to improve their systems management after they?ve paid for intranets or have dealt with the Year 2000 problem. They don?t have the budget because it?s not strategic, there are training issues involved with such complex products, and they?re stuck in as an afterthought.?
But, while 28 per cent of those questioned thought their architecture was poor now and another 38 per cent thought it was fair, some 46 per cent expected it to be good in two years? time as they moved to management suites such as Computer Associates? Unicenter or IBM?s Tivoli.
But Oltsik warned that suites were not a panacea and needed to be introduced with care because they were expensive, proprietary and took a long time to implement.
He cautioned that as the world moved to Internet-based computing, the old monolithic offerings may no longer be as relevant unless they changed into more modular form.
He expected Javasoft?s JMAPI specification and the Microsoft-based Web-based Environment Mangement Initiative specifications to become the industry standards as they matured over the next couple of years and so warned users to take a tactical approach.
?Companies looking to solve today?s management woes need to look at the individual problems that are causing them pain and solve them bit by bit rather than introduce a whole management system that may become redundant,? he added.
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