Advancing IT management through simplicity, says ManageEngine’s Sabhlok

Raj Sabhlok, ManageEngine (Image: ManageEngine)

Management tools should not cost more than the systems being managed

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12 June 2018 | 0

Over a decade ago, ManageEngine entered the IT service management market because we saw an opportunity for an under-served customer base beyond just the very largest organisations. These smaller companies grappled with tools that were typically complex and expensive. Immediately, these were two pain points we knew we could address with our product, ServiceDesk Plus, and the suite we envisioned and have since developed.

In terms of price, our mantra was that the management tools should not cost more than the systems you are managing. We addressed complexity a number of ways. First, we typically use agentless technology to tackle IT service management problems. We were one of the first companies to do this at a time when software agents were typically the staple in IT management. The downside of agents was they were very resource-intensive and dragged down the network performance.

We also decided to use a web browser for our console, which meant organisations did not need a dedicated Unix or Windows machine. It peered into devices that needed to be managed, and within minutes, administrators began to see comprehensive management data. We believe this approach changed the landscape of IT management for that segment of the market.

Today, we continue to change the landscape, by simplifying IT management for the constantly-changing IT environments found in small, medium, and large enterprises alike. That is how we enable customers to roll out new technology in their organisations faster than ever before.

An obvious example is migration to the cloud. For organisations of scale in particular, it is very difficult to unplug legacy systems and move entirely to the cloud. The result to date has involved a hybrid approach, made up of on-premise, public, and private cloud systems and everything in between. We offer companies a comprehensive solution that is able to handle hybrid IT management yet is still easy to use and affordable.

Organisations that use tools to handle service management, application management, network monitoring or patch management are typically those trying to implement best practices in their IT. While a relatively small percentage of organisations to date are fully adhering to best practices, I believe some significant developments are forcing organisations to improve the maturity of their IT operations.

“For organisations of scale in particular, it is very difficult to unplug legacy systems and move entirely to the cloud. The result to date has involved a hybrid approach, made up of on-premises, public, and private cloud systems and everything in between”

I believe the current threat environment is forcing many organisations to re-evaluate their security. For example, many prominent recent data breaches are traceable to bad password management. With many competing business priorities, this often fell down the list in the past, but it’s suddenly hurtling back up the agenda as organisations and boards feel the financial and reputational impact of security incidents.

Much of what we do within IT management is help organisations establish best practices in a particular management area through software. For example, patch management addresses the considerable risk posed by ransomware. Last year’s WannaCry ransomware outbreak was an example of organisations not having best practices in place to update infrastructure software when patches were available. Good IT management can very quickly make improvements in those environments, especially when the right software is functionally and financially accessible.

This is not to be critical of IT organisations. ManageEngine is an IT management company, we run eight data centres around the world, serving 35 million users; we wholeheartedly understand the plight of IT and are sympathetic to the issues. In fact, we fundamentally believe that IT management’s time is coming again. After a period when departments implemented technology outside the remit of IT, the need for control and good governance over systems and infrastructure has never been more necessary.

It is time for CIOs and their teams to step up once more, and we think that the service desk or helpdesk is a fundamental building block for good IT management. Tools like desktop and mobile management, network and server management, Active Directory management, analytics, and application performance management are easy to use and afford, they can help to bring best practices to bear in running IT.

 

 

Raj Sabhlok is president of ManageEngine

 

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