By Roy Illsley, Principal Analyst, Software - IT Solutions, OVUM
Ovum Decision Matrix: infrastructure management vendors should move towards a holistic approach of delivering IT services that meet customer demands
CA Technologies, HP, IBM, VMware named as leaders in infrastructure management provision
Infrastructure management (IM) vendor solutions need to include a higher-level management perspective on the cost, value, risk, and flexibility aspects of delivering IT services, according to Ovum.
In its latest Decision Matrix: Selecting an Infrastructure Management Solution, the technology analyst firm reveals that disruptive technologies such as virtualization, automation, and cloud computing have raised the profile of this sector as the need for management and control begins to cross over from a purely technical realm to a more business-focused activity.
“Ultimately CIOs will become chief integration officers, responsible for matching the wide selection of IT sources to demands from customers,” says Roy Illsley, principal analyst at Ovum. “The biggest challenge facing this role will be to understand what each IM vendor’s vision is for the future and how this translates to their plans for the organisation.”
Categorising the top ten players in the IM market into Leaders, Challengers and Followers*, Ovum’s Decision Matrix (ODM) relieves some of this pressure from those having to make these difficult decisions.
“The IM market is splitting into two distinct segments catering for two different groups of organizations – ‘just enough’ management by small and medium-sized organizations, and service assurance by large enterprises,” says Illsley. “But the needs are better amplified by the significance of IT to the organization. Where IT is a competitive differentiator, service assurance is of greater value, but if IT is seen as a cost of doing business, ‘just enough’ is better aligned.”
The ODM shows that change within the IM vendor landscape has been driven by acquisitions and disposals. EMC’s sale of assets to VMware has propelled VMware into the Leader category, while Dell’s increased capability from acquiring Kace and Scalent has meant it now meets Ovum’s ODM inclusion criteria. ** There is also a clear variation in the approach and focus of all vendors to the role of the management layer: Symantec believes the security and operations alignment movement is an approach to enable greater flexibility, while Microsoft has chosen to build a large partner community to provide ‘plug-in’ modules to its core offering to provide the same objective.
However, the identified leaders (CA Technologies, HP, IBM, and VMware) all demonstrate capability of providing excellent siloed solutions, and have new, more heterogeneous cloud-enabled solutions and visions for how future infrastructure management will evolve.
“All vendors in the ODM share a vision that infrastructure management will become the critical technology for organizations to operate effectively and enable business agility, but the approaches to how this will be achieved differ. This is a sign of a healthy market in which the customer will decide which are mainstream and which are niche,” concludes Illsley.
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Notes to editors:
*Classification of Vendors
Leader: This category represents the leading solutions that we believe are worthy of a place on most technology selection shortlists. The vendor has established a commanding market position with a product that is widely accepted as best of breed.
Challenger: The vendors in this category have good market positioning and are selling and marketing their products well. The products offer competitive functionality, good price-performance propositions, and should be considered as part of the technology selection.
Follower: Solutions in this category have less broad applicability, and may have limitations in terms of the product’s functionality or the vendor’s execution capability. However, they will still be suitable to meet specific requirements, and may be worth exploring as part of the technology selection.
In categorising vendors, the report takes into consideration technology analysis, customer satisfaction and market impact.
The infrastructure management market has many vendors that offer solutions to customers of all sizes. However, the criteria to be included in this report are based on the ability to offer solutions for the different segments of infrastructure management, and having solutions that can scale from SMEs to large multinationals.
The vendor must have a comprehensive solution that covers all aspects of infrastructure management. This criterion requires vendors to offer solutions from network, server, storage, and now desktop, either under one suite or via related solutions.
The solutions must be capable of supporting installations from a few standard racks to multiple-thousand-server deployments.
The vendors must demonstrate histories of developing management software and that they understand the changing nature of the requirements and demands that cloud computing will place on any solution.
The vendors must show credibility by demonstrating a solid financial track record of sales and growth in the IT market as a whole.
***Diagrams are available as separate files.
To arrange an interview or for more information on ODM criteria and methodology please contact Jennifer Duraisingam in the Ovum press office on +61 (3) 9601 6723, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Ovum provides clients with independent and objective analysis that enables them to make better business and technology decisions. Our research draws upon over 400,000 interviews a year with business and technology, telecoms and sourcing decision-makers, giving Ovum and our clients unparalleled insight not only into business requirements but also the technology that organisations must support. Ovum is an Informa business.