Shelfware, IT’s version of Home Exercise Equipment

Brett

By Brett Allison

 

treadmill doodleMany years ago, I conducted an IT software asset audit for an insurance company. The results were surprising to say the least.  They had a large number of tools, many with overlapping functionality.

But the biggest surprise was that they had several useful tools that had never been installed.  The teams didn’t even know that they owned these licenses!  This shocked me at the time. But over the years it became apparent to me that this was far from unique. For example, an IT executive at a Fortune 100 company told us “I believe your software does what you say it will do, but what I don’t believe is that our IT staff will get it implemented.”

Unused software, or shelfware, is a pervasive problem in enterprise IT. Technology-driven purchase decisions often do not evaluate whether the necessary personnel, skills and processes are available to get value out of the technology, as illustrated in the IT Solution diagram: blog image

As organizations continue to become “leaner” and reduce IT headcount, the number of employees with specialized skills in highly important areas, such as storage performance, is dwindling.  The result is that valuable IT tools lay around gathering dust.  Like the desperate gambler, hoping to strike it big on the next bet, organizations continue to purchase software hoping to fix their problems. But what they require is a solution.  Software by itself does not make a solution.

Recently, I was speaking with a prospect about how to request funding for IntelliMagic Vision as a Service. This is a solution where IntelliMagic maintains and runs the software off-premise, with our skilled consultants as an integral part of the offering.

He said something like, “We really need this tool.” I answered, “No, you really need a guaranteed-to-run solution. You already have tools, but those tools are sitting on the shelf.”

The prospect fully agreed, and this triggered an interesting conversation about ordinary life metaphors, like the ‘basement treadmill’ bought to improve health, but that ended up as a clothes rack.  When we purchase something, we all plan to use it to its full extent. But when it comes down to it, like a lot of exercise equipment, IT tools are under-utilized.

So how can we resolve this? In the treadmill metaphor, you could plan runs with a friend or contract a personal trainer to make sure you achieve your health goals.  Likewise, the solution approach is the right path for IT.  Rather than continuing to buy tools to solve a gap in expertise, you can team up with a partner like IntelliMagic. We have the technology, processes and skills that make the difference between a dust-gathering tool and a full solution that protects the health of your storage environment.

Perhaps you feel you should use our software on premise because your organization has strong storage performance skills. However, even in organizations with deep technical skills, the frenetic pace of day-to-day activities tends to reduce the chances that you will be able to fully exploit the potential of the software.

A specialized partner, whose exclusive goal it is to deliver value, can focus on it without the day-to-day whirlwind that distracts your team. This augments your team and even more important provides them with a valuable source of expertise familiar with your environment when it is most needed.  This is why even the best run IT shops are choosing to use our IntelliMagic Vision as a Service as opposed to installing it on site.  A little more money dramatically increases the benefits and results for most sites.

Infrastructure performance and configuration data is well suited for monitoring by external experts because the data doesn’t contain PII and because specialized expertise adds a lot of value.

Isn’t it time you threw out your ‘IT basement treadmill’ and partnered with a ‘personal trainer’ like IntelliMagic?

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