The need to consolidate the management of IT has never been more acute. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic organizations of all sizes will be moving to reduce IT costs as much as possible.

A survey of 1,300 IT professionals published today by Ivanti, a provider of IT asset management tools, shines a light on the extent of the problem. The survey finds half of respondents (50 percent) are working with 11 or more different vendors to manage their IT environments, while 20 percent work with between five and seven, and 16 percent work with between eight and 10 vendors.

Not surprisingly, managing all those vendors becomes quite a chore. More than half of respondents (52 percent) spend hours producing reports. Some spend days (22 percent) and even weeks (6 percent). At the same time, respondents noted they spend days (33 percent), weeks (35 percent) and even months (13 percent) negotiating contract with vendors. Each minute spent producing a report or negotiating a contract is, of course, one less minute IT teams are doing something that might actually be adding value to the business.

In general, the survey identifies the issues most IT teams are trying to balance as improving patching and security (62 percent); cutting down time to resolve incidents (61 percent); improve IT reporting (47 percent); unifying IT (39 percent) and deal with IT governance (30 percent).

The specific benefits of unifying IT identified are consistent data across systems and IT departments (70 percent); improved user experience (61 percent); ease of use (60 percent); consistent and aligned processes across IT departments (59 percent) and cost savings (58 percent).

Meeting the IT department’s needs

As noble as those efforts are, it’s apparent to all involved that those goals are rarely attained. Most internal IT organizations don’t have the discipline or political capital required to truly manage IT-as-a-Service. IT teams are navigating a mix of applications to manage IT, including endpoint management tools (65 percent), inventory tools (48 percent), reporting tools (48 percent), spreadsheets (40 percent) and IT asset management (ITAM) platforms (15 percent).

The downturn in the economy presents managed service providers (MSPs) with a unique moment in time to definitively show how they can simultaneously drive down the total cost of IT in a way that reduces the number of IT vendors that any organization needs to engage down to a much more manageable number of one.

Fortunately for MSPs, the more complex IT becomes, the more compelling it becomes to rely on an MSP. The Ivanti survey finds 44 percent of respondents still have more IT assets on-premises than in the cloud. A quarter (25 percent) reported having 50 percent on-premises and 50 percent in the cloud. Only 14 percent are fully on-premises in the cloud, while 12 percent said they are more in the cloud than on-premises. Only 5 percent are completely in the cloud.

Resistance to managed services from internal IT teams has always been high. However, the simple truth of the matter is there are a lot more organizations continuing to manage IT internally that have no business doing so – even arguably in the best of times. Now that organizations of all sizes are adjusting to the “new normal” it should be clear to all concerned that the current economic climate is going to force the IT management debate once and for all.

Photo: ADragan / Shutterstock

Mike Vizard

Posted by Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard has covered IT for more than 25 years, and has edited or contributed to a number of tech publications including InfoWorld, eWeek, CRN, Baseline, ComputerWorld, TMCNet, and Digital Review. He currently blogs for IT Business Edge and contributes to CIOinsight, The Channel Insider, Programmableweb and Slashdot. Mike blogs about emerging cloud technology for Smarter MSP.

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