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News

UK Places Too Much Reliance On Free Tools To Manage Critical Operations

Shavlik Technologies : 26 May, 2010  (Technical Article)
Survey by Shavlik Technologies in the UK reveals an over-reliance on freely available tools for the control of critical IT processes for which such tools don't provide sufficient robustness
Shavlik Technologies has announced the results of an independent survey that confirms UK companies are prioritising the need for a dynamic view of their entire IT estate, yet more than half admit to being reliant on free tools that cannot provide this.

The independent survey, conducted by Vanson Bourne asked 100 senior IT Managers and Directors about their systems management challenges and priorities. Respondents revealed that managing virtual systems is presenting a challenge for most organisations, with 60% of all respondents identifying the tracking of virtual systems a concern, and 68% of respondents from companies in specific sectors including financial services, retail, and distribution and transport sectors admitting this. A significant proportion, 60%, said they prioritised tracking the current state of all IT assets, including knowledge of all software on systems, patch and configuration status, however nearly 30% admitted that they do not include endpoints in this effort and 20% do not track virtual images.

"With 40% of companies leaving significant gaps in their view of security and systems operations, this survey tells us that too many companies have yet to accommodate for the rapid changes that are taking place in their systems infrastructure," says Mark Shavlik, CEO Shavlik Technologies. "Current IT estates require a deeper knowledge of more complex systems, which is forcing a greater need for agility and the ability to simplify systems management."

When asked about system updates, patches and configuration management 52% admitted to being reliant on free tools, with this being most prevalent for smaller companies of under 3,000 employees, of which 60% rely on free tools. Other developing priorities identified in the survey include a growing focus on tracking server capacity and utilisation rates with 59% saying they track it and the rest saying they would like to. Power management is also moving up the agenda as companies sweat their assets: Over three quarters of respondents, 78%, said they had or would like to implement power management solutions this year, with 46% of them wanting this effort to cover workstations and servers.

"The findings in this survey are in line with what we are increasingly learning from the marketplace. Administrators are juggling disparate priorities and associated management tools—many of them free but inadequate for holistic requirements—while they struggle for choices from the vendor community that allow them to keep up with and integrate current priorities," says Shavlik. "Part of the challenge here is that new systems management norms like the systems themselves are also developing rapidly with few established standards of best practice. "

To address this situation, Shavlik Technologies has introduced new services and a multi-faceted Cloud strategy to facilitate the development of both a one-stop-shop for IT management applications and tools developed by Shavlik, and offer a platform for integrated solutions from third-party providers. The initial phase includes new SaaS-based services covering asset, software, and patch management for small and medium enterprise on IT.Shavlik.com. This interactive community, now entering general availability after a two month beta period, has attracted nearly 2,000 members and was designed to encourage the development of community intelligence, while providing a flexible platform for critical IT services.

"We recognise that companies of all sizes need the freedom to create their own management framework, gain a bigger influence over the vendor community, and learn from each other," explains Shavlik. "This is the intent behind IT.Shavlik.com. Our product road map has been published and made available for comment, and users can network with each other as they work their way through very current issues."
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