The Changing Nature of IT Service and Support

Michael Vizard
Slide Show

The 10 Commandments of Large-Scale IT Transformation

Help focus your IT organization's attention on the most fundamental aspects of program management.

Managing IT systems used to be a relatively straight-forward proposition: End users had one machine and rights to access certain files and applications that were stationary.

But with IT in the enterprise, it's pretty clear that things are about to get a whole lot more complex. On the user side of the equation, people will be alternating between multiple types of client devices during the day. This means that instead of thinking in terms of managing a single device that contains all the digital assets of an end user, IT organizations are going to have to start thinking in terms of managing end users and all the devices they use. That may seem like a small nuance, but in reality it means that systems management and identity management technologies are going to have to be closely coupled.

Meanwhile, on the server side, the rise of virtualization and cloud computing is making the overall application environment a lot more fluid. This means that as these applications leverage more sophisticated virtualization technologies, application will move across public and private cloud computing platforms. IT organizations will first need to get a handle on how to manage the underlying virtual machine software that enables cloud computing, and will then need tools to manage what many people expect to be an extended period of hybrid cloud computing.

LANDesk CEO Steve Daly says that for any of this to really happen, IT organizations are going to have to rely a lot more of IT automation. To that end, LANDesk recently made a LANDesk Management Automation Platform available to customers free of charge. And Daly says the company plans to make a lot more investments in terms of IT automation tools and technologies.


But Daly says it's critically important to allow IT organizations to embrace IT automation at their own pace. Many have been burned by previous IT automation technologies that never scaled, and even more did not trust those tools because they could not easily see what exactly the system was automating. According to Daly, many of these solutions were "black box frameworks" that created excuses for consulting firms to run up expensive IT services tabs.

Daly says IT organizations will need approaches to automation that allow them to easily automate their existing processes. Then over time, they can migrate to best in class IT management methodologies as defined by version 3.0 of the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) specification.

Trying to impose an entire new framework for managing IT isn't practical for most IT organizations. What's going to be required, says Daly, is a more evolutionary approach to automation that allows IT organizations to keep the tools they already know and use today, while still gaining the benefits of automation that will be desperately needed to support the next generation of IT in the enterprise.

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