A top-down approach to IT management

A top-down approach is the only way to revitalize the role of IT management

IT management efforts to focus on service delivery within the enterprise are hamstrung by traditional IT management tools that view the world from a bottom-up perspective -- a method of managing individual components within a network under a specific category or silo. What's needed is a top-down perspective.

While element management systems do a fair job monitoring assets in a specific silo, there is no way to manage the interactions among endpoints (both client and server), applications and networks across silos. No matter how you fine-tune these silos, it is not enough to combat the day-to-day availability and performance problems that inevitably crop up.

This has caused a plethora of challenges, from failure to identify lingering issues behind application performance problems to difficulty pinpointing the source of specific problems identified by users. It is often difficult for IT to find problems because the source is obscured in a complex web of interactions.

This is particularly true when the help desk escalates a trouble ticket to a silo without gathering additional information. An IT engineer using specialized analysis tools might then conclude there is nothing wrong in that particular environment, and pass the trouble ticket on to another silo.

This escalation model can be time consuming given the widely heterogeneous nature of enterprise networks and management systems. It is also likely that this scenario will only get worse as individual silos roll out new applications and endpoints -- often without the knowledge of the other teams. With the demands on enterprise networks evolving rapidly, a radical change is needed in the way infrastructure is managed across the company.

A top-down approach is the only way to revitalize the role of IT management. This approach views IT assets as they are in the network -- a set of interwoven, interdependent endpoints that produce and consume applications and services that run from anywhere, at anytime across a common infrastructure.

With the top-down management concept, endpoint devices and their applications are at the top, providing a clear picture of enterprisewide performance issues by understanding the endpoints and how they interact with each other through applications.

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