I've been listening to some of the commentary from folks who were at the HP Discover event in Las Vegas and also discussing some specific observations from my colleagues with respect to customers comments and feedback.
One topic which caught my attention was the administrative burden for IT Operations tools. It's an issue that is showing up more and more frequently in discussions with customers and is something that HP has been aware of for some years and has been working to address .
The basic challenge is that everyone needs to be able to manage increasingly complex and dynamic IT environments to deliver even higher service levels - but with a static or reduced cost.
The focus on controlling OpEx means that, at best, budgets for Operational Management stay flat - but most likely IT organizations are expected to cut their day to day costs even though the IT environment is growing.
And, of course, to be able to do this folks look towards technology to help streamline, automate and apply 'intelligence' at the front line in order to make Operations Bridge staff more efficient.
The problem is that many of the technologies (from our competitors) that are being positioned to help address the front line operations efficiency issue come with a hidden cost. In order for them to deliver on the promises that they make to correlate, streamline, automate etc. they need a lot of configuration.
And that is not a one off configuration exercise because the static rules used by many technologies need constant updates as the IT environment flexes and grows.
So customers find that they have to commit significant experts resources to maintaining these technologies if they hope to derive the promised value - and that is a big issue. Basically you are taking cost out of one bucket (operations) and adding it to another by burdening experts with the need to maintain the solutions.
And experts are usually in short reply - and should be spending their time doing more strategic activities for the business.
End result is that many of these solutions make it thru the proof of concept and look really promising, but customers quickly realize that the simply do not scale up to deal with large complex environments because the manpower requirements to maintain the solutions also scale with the size and complexity of the environment. And that is unsustainable.
HP Software has specifically addressed this challenge with the Run-time Service Model and technologies like OMi. I'll post another couple of blog articles to dig a bit deeper into the specifics of how this all hangs together over the next week.