Gartner Offers New Year’s Resolutions for IT Managers

A recent research note from analyst firm Gartner Group makessuggestions for IT managers involved in network and system management. The sloweconomy creates new considerations for managers, and it offers ways to helpaddress economic issues.

Because of the down economy, Gartner says networkspending will be subject to constraints in the first half of this year. Becauseof these limits, most spending will be limited to tactical, rather thanstrategic investments. It suggests enterprise IT managers focus their energieson making the most of existing purchases and optimizing performance.

Gartner also says that although the capital marketsshould loosen in the second half of 2002, changing economic conditions willhave little impact on network and system management. The purchase of supportsystems often lag behind new initiatives, so money flowing into IT departmentswill go to new applications. Gartner expects IT managers will have to choosebetween supporting new projects and maintaining non-mission-criticalapplications.

The tough economy will also force IT departments tojustify their existence in business terms, leading them to present themselvesas service providers, rather than overhead. Gartner suggests IT managerscarefully document services and costs, so informed outsourcing decisions can bemade.

Because of the devastating effects of the September 11attacks, a new emphasis on security and stability has risen. Gartner says ITmanagers should concentrate on multi-site and distributed architectures; sophysical problems have a limited impact on IT.

Finally, Gartner predicts that Network and SystemManagement vendors will experience a shakeout in 2002 and 2003. Because of slowspending, vendors will go out of business or be acquired by a more successfulcompany. It believes at least one-third of management vendors will not exist bythe end of next year. –Chris McConnell