A curious fact of IT management is that, quite often, those looking after the administration of the infrastructure lose sight of why all those bits of tin have to be managed at all. In essence it boils down to delivering service to consumers; and for most users ’service‘ really amounts to ’applications’. As everyone knows, the …
"Applications" - an interesting question
I wonder if anybody has come up with a broadly accepted definition of "application" and made sure that eveybody within their business (including outsourcing customers etc) has the same view.
From a service support point of view, you are talking about different bits of software to license, install, patch, support.
From an infrastructure support point of view, you are talking about different comms paths with set destination ports / IPs etc.
From a user perspective this actually can be different applications all accessed via IE (or whatever), sometimes even on the same server but with different URLs.
Which one did this study mean to ask about and which one were the answers responding with?
under 50, I wish
We've got just over 100 desktops, but over 117 applications. And that's without counting the various free utilities we have scattered around the place, nor the software running on the servers.
If I were to audit the lot, I reckon there's easily 150 separate applications in regular use here. Hell, even ignoring firewall software, there are already 6 just for email:
Mimesweeper anti-spam appliance
GFI Mail Essentials
... and that's not even counting the fact that one of our directors just bought a windows mobile phone, so we now need the management tools for that.
All I can say is thank god for group policy.
Beat you to it
We started app consolodation about 3 years ago when during an IT departmental restructuring revolving around deployment methodology efficincy changes we assigned specific managers to preside over each application we've deployed. We tracked just shy of 3,000 applications in use. today we're down to just about 2,000 active or in development applications, and it's shrinking still. We think something around 1200 is an acheivable goal, with more than 2/3 of that number being actual in-house applications we could not remove due to particular line of business needs or custom processing done for a particular client.
"application" in our definition is any unique installed or distrubuted software package that either requires manual installation on its own (aka, not an automatically installed subcomponent of another application), any program an end user refers to by name, or any application that requires patching directly. Basically, either it comes in a box, has a development team dedicated to that app, or has security or operations impact that must be accounted for. under these rules, something like OWA is treated as a subcomponent of Exchange server, and itself is not a unique app, but in the reverse, there might be several java applications that interact to build a single realtime web console interface and they might be tracked seperately....
Persuading the end users is easy.
Just charge them what it costs!
We had a web system that tracked data quality issues. It had automated assignment, workflow, tickler emails, very nice. As long as it was free, the users really liked it.
But when we told them they would have to pay the actual cost of the system, $300,000 a year, then they said they'd rather keep track of their data quality problems on Excel spreadsheets.