After a year that brought recession and disaster, change is in order in 2002. That's why more IT managers will join the systems migration and security enhancement movement that started in 2001. On a broader scale, an analyst predicts that hopes for a happy new year will be realized in an economic comeback.
Some things will change in the Windows management tools market in 2002, as this searchWindowsManageability year-end review will show. Some things, however, will remain the same.
In the Windows systems management market, migration tools -- particularly Active Directory -- were in hot demand in 2001 and won't cool off in 2002. They'll have to share the spotlight, though, because interest in data integration tools and storage will grow significantly in the next year. Further, the fallout from the Sept. 11th tragedy will make 2002 a busy year for security and disaster recovery product and services providers.
The current roster of major systems management software vendors, however, won't be sharing center stage. They'll continue to dominate the enterprise marketplace in 2002, but the slow economy will force them to work harder to maintain their top positions. Not surprisingly, vendor consolidation will continue, as the majors continue the practice of adding technologies to their lines by acquiring smaller vendors.
In 2001, many businesses invested in migration tools and began planning Active Directory migrations, according to Audrey Rasmussen, research director at Boulder, Colo.-based Enterprise Management Associates. However, she added that "most companies delayed going to AD because of its complexity."
The need to improve the functionality of the ubiquitous Windows user interface is driving interest in data integration tools, said Richard Ptak, senior vice president at the Framingham, Mass.-based analyst firm Hurwitz Group. "Everyone has their own user interface in Windows," he said. So, the data received from multiple tools needs to be accessible and viewable from one format. Tools will surface that will consolidate the data collected from different files, he said. Once the data is consolidated, the tools will manipulate, correlate, relate and present the data.
In the enterprise systems management software space, the competition will heat up, Ptak said. The current roster of major systems management software vendors -- Hewlett-Packard Co., Tivoli Systems, Inc., BMC Software, Inc., and Computer Associates International, Inc. -- will continue to dominate the enterprise marketplace in 2002. They won't be on easy street, however. Second-tier players, like Candle, Corp. and Compuware, Corp. are competing with the top four more aggressively, he said. Also, the slow economy will force top vendors to work harder to maintain their top positions.
In a recession, however, even major vendors will need to work harder to keep their customers. They'll "focus their resources and tactics to be more sensitive to helping their customers immediate needs," said Ptak. They'll provide the services needed to build stronger business relationships, in hopes of keeping customers loyal.
Selling service will be very important, because sales increases of system management software won't set the world on fire for the next few years. Worldwide system management software revenues grew only from $8,901.3 million to $9,672 million between 2000 and 2001, according to San Jose, Calif.-based Gartner Dataquest. In 2002, revenues should reach $11,127.1 million. That pace should continue through 2005, when revenues will hit $17,595.3 million.
New innovators have sprung up in the performance management space and some consolidation will take place, Ptak predicted. Some major players will acquire smaller players. The major players may also try to acquire tools that focus on providing faster and more efficient utilization of the Internet infrastructure, he said.
There are two ways that smaller performance management companies are currently providing tools that make using the Internet infrastructure more efficient, he said. One is to focus on problem identification and root cause analysis. The other is to focus on fixing the problems, while addressing the exact performance issue, whether it is the switching, host providers or load balancers. Ptak feels some of the larger players may try to buy the smaller player's tools rather than create their own.
Storage software such as storage area networks (SANs) will become more popular in 2002, predicted Mark Crawford, a network design specialist at Keystone Health Plan Central of Camp Hill, Penn. Costs will be coming down, he said, while the user base will increase. "SANs are not targeted at huge-sized companies anymore."
SANs allow for server consolidation, which saves money, too, Crawford said. Further, once a company has purchased a SAN, "incremental expansion is inexpensive because you just buy more hard drives."
Crawford also predicted that IP-based storage networks may become a cost effective implementation. Keystone, in particular, is looking to implement network attached storage (NAS) devices and drives at an offsite facility in order to use the storage network to move data.
The Sept. 11 attack increased the demand for security, disaster recovery tools and services, and collaboration tools, Rasmussen and Ptak said. IT managers are seeking root-cause analysis and storage resource management tools that help them automatically resolve and head off problems.
On a more optimistic note, Ptak predicted that the damper the Sept. 11 attacks put on the economy will evaporate soon. "We will see a recovery in the economy toward the end of the first quarter 2002," he predicted. The built-up creative and innovative IT talent of today will be unleashed and address the business problems businesses are experiencing. "The restored growth to the industry and the economy will be a phenomenon," he concluded.
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