Call it a case of good news/bad news. There are plenty of IT management tools from which to choose. The problem: Many enterprise IT departments are now overwhelmed with multiple point solutions instead of integrated dashboards.
Indeed, roughly 65 percent of U.S. enterprise businesses have 11 or more commercial monitoring and management tools, according to Enterprise Management Associates. Not by coincidence, many startup technology companies and established giants are trying to promote end-to-end tools that deliver a single dashboard for all monitoring and management.
A case in point: AppDynamics, one of the fastest-growing cloud-based tool providers, expanded its Application Intelligence Platform in June to fulfill that "single dashboard" vision, the company claims. Of course, AppDynamics isn't alone. Peer startups like New Relic also are in growth mode, and additional players are trying to deliver single-pane-of-glass offerings into IT service providers that support small businesses and midmarket customers.
ConnectWise has been ahead of the curve on the IT integration trend. The company gradually expanded its PSA (professional services automation) system to include finance, marketing, sales, CRM and other functions -- positioning it as a business management platform for IT service providers and any organizations that sell or support technology.
ConnectWise also invested in a range of companies like LabTech Software (remote monitoring and management, 2010) and Quosal (sales proposal and quoting software, 2011). ConnectWise also acquired ScreenConnect (February 2015) to bolster the company's remote control capabilities.
ConnectWise's multi-year moves ultimately sparked a reactionary move by rival Autotask, which acquired CentraStage (cloud-based RMM, 2014) to promote integrated PSA-RMM to IT service providers. Somewhat similarly, AVG Technologies is connecting the dots between its cloud-based IT management, security and RMM Tools; Kaseya has been buying up and integrating numerous capabilities; and SolarWinds has expanded from enterprise management down to small and midmarket management through its N-able business.
LogicNow (formerly GFI Max) is another key name to know in the IT service provider market segment, promoting an integrated family of cloud services for IT service providers.
A Single Pane of Glass, Really?
Amid those and other players, the question still remains: Can enterprise IT departments and IT service providers ever truly get down to one dashboard for all IT management?
I seriously doubt it. But... it's obvious that with proper planning large enterprises can likely consolidate their platforms and turn off a few of the one-dozen tools they currently use.