ScienceLogic Survey Shows Virtualization Cooling Off and Major IT Challenge to Reduce Management Costs

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Supporting new technologies/enabling innovation and reducing management costs were the top challenges found in this second annual survey conducted at Interop New York 2008 by ScienceLogic, a leading provider of integrated systems, network and application monitoring. Top IT issues are Asset Management and Inventory, Security Information Management and High Availability/Disaster Recovery with virtualization cooling off and cloud computing at bottom of list.

MidMarket IT Management Solutions Out-of-the-Box

IT budgets are tightening up, and reducing costs while increasing service levels is top of mind for IT professionals. You can see from the survey how that has translated to this practical approach of tackling IT projects that are actually achievable and aligned with today's priorities.

Supporting new technologies/enabling innovation and reducing management costs were the top challenges found in this second annual survey conducted at Interop New York 2008 by ScienceLogic, a leading provider of integrated systems, network and application monitoring. During the course of the trade show, almost 100 network and systems administrators from a variety of business segments were surveyed to determine the changing priorities of IT operations.

Attendees were asked what the top challenge was that their IT departments faced. The results:

  • Supporting new technologies/enabling innovation (22 percent - unchanged from last year)
  • Reducing management costs (21 percent - up from 11 percent last year)
  • Improving service levels (20 percent - down from 29 percent last year)

The top two challenges actually go hand-in-hand in any IT organization. Whether it is virtualization or SAAS or Green IT, new technologies often require new tools, training and sometimes different resources to manage them, resulting in unplanned costs. "We're seeing the confusion and challenges our customers are facing today around virtualization in particular," said David Link, CEO & president of ScienceLogic, "from what virtualization technologies to embrace down to even what metrics they should be looking at. This is an evolving market and we are on top of it so that our customers don't have to deal with the complexity and costs involved with using multiple silo tools.

Trends - Hot IT issues
On the face of it, one of the more surprising results was the relative cooling off of the very hot virtualization trend.

  • 63 percent say that virtualization management is important to their operations (down from 75 percent last year). Of that, 26 percent rank it as very important to their operations (down from 39 percent).
  • 27 percent already have tools in place for virtualization management, (down from 35 percent). 39 percent plan to implement this technology by next year (down from 48 percent).

On the one hand, you would think that benefits like cost savings from server virtualization would be top of mind but in fact more practical concerns like having a complete IT asset management and inventory took precedence. We wonder as well whether the imminent and subsequent entry of Microsoft Hyper-V (from announcement to actual launch) had a hand in delaying decisions to move forward with alternate virtualization solutions - i.e., VMware's dominant ESX hypervisor and VirtualCenter management tools.

Overall, we saw much more correlation this year between what IT said was important and what they spent their time and money against. Other findings from the survey revealed:

  • Security information management ranked #1 on the list for network and systems administrators, with 92 percent of respondents marking it as "important" and even more telling, 68% had tools in place, up from only a third last year. #2 and #3 were high availability/disaster recovery and IT asset management and inventory, respectively.
  • IT asset management and inventory continues to be a major issue among IT departments, with 72 percent ranking it as "important" or "very important", and implementations up to 51 percent of those surveyed, compared to 36 percent last year.
  • At the bottom of the list, in terms of importance and implementations, ITIL and CMDB, IPv6, green IT and cloud computing - all projects that are relatively massive in scope and require an intense amount of planning, resources and even cultural change.

"What is old is new again," said Link. "IT budgets are tightening up, and reducing costs while increasing service levels is top of mind for IT professionals. You can see from the survey how that has translated to this practical approach of tackling IT projects that are actually achievable and aligned with today's priorities."

For more information on ScienceLogic
Full survey results and comparison of Government IT vs Industry results

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Valerie Barber
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