One of the issues that has always plagued IT was that when it came time to deploy the tools that would make the job of managing IT easier, there was never enough money left in the budget to fund their acquisition.
The reason for this is because whatever money was available in the IT budget was generally dedicated to acquiring new applications and the systems they run on. The fact that the IT organization could really use some state-of-the-art tools to manage the environment more easily wasn't part of the justification that went into the acquisition of the new application and the IT infrastructure needed to manage it. So unless the IT organization was smart enough to include a line item in the proposal that covered the cost of IT management tools, chances are they simply got by using manual labor and some custom internally developed management scripts.
The good news as of late, however, has been the emergence of IT management platforms that make tools available as a service. The latest of these is BMC IT Business Management OnDemand, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering from BMC Software that is based on the company's IT management software.
According to Roy Ritthaler, senior director of solution marketing management, a SaaS approach to IT management gives many IT organizations a more cost-effective approach to staying current on the latest IT management technologies and best practices. Rather than having to buy dedicated server hardware to run IT management software, the customer leverages the multi-tenant architecture that is managed by the provider of the IT management tools. That approach, notes Ritthaler, drops capital costs while allowing the company to more flexibly address changing business conditions when compared to acquiring on-premise software that comes with a fixed number of licenses.
Ritthaler says BMC expects that companies will ultimately want to deploy IT management both on premise and in the cloud depending on how much usage they make of a particular module. For example, it may prove to be less expensive to deploy a tool that the entire IT organization relies on every day, while reserving the cloud for modules that are only occasionally needed. In any of those scenarios, Ritthaler says BMC will work with customers to deploy software modules in any mode customers require.
Overall, Ritthaler says that IT management tools in the cloud will increase the accessibility of these tools not only from a pure cost perspective, but also in terms of the size of the organization that can now afford to use them, especially when you consider how many smaller IT organizations simply could not afford to deploy on-premise software.
Ultimately, IT management tools as a service should also serve to increase the sophistication of IT organizations, many of which are desperately looking for not only better tools, but also structured processes that will allow them to better cope with the inherent complexities of enterprise IT as it exists today.