Search goes on for software

It’s tough to go to a seminar or trade show devoted to enterprise software these days and not hear quite a bit about modelling. And, unfortunately for some attendees, we’re not talking about the Tyra Banks variety.

No, this is the type of modelling that has many vendors drooling over potentially larger revenues and many IT managers agog over the possibility of seeing their systems in a whole new and extremely useful light. Just like the thousands of poor saps wanting to date a supermodel, however, most customers will be left to simply dream about the possibility due to the exorbitant cost involved.

The number of players in the data management field is expanding rapidly, and it is in this area that we are seeing some significant innovation around the way information is stored, moved and managed across the enterprise. Traditional players in this space, such as CA and SAP, are being joined by hard-core storage vendors like EMC and network management outfits like HP, with its OpenView platform.

A key plank in the expanded product portfolios of these firms is what is commonly becoming known as the modelling tool. These new elements analyze a customer’s infrastructure and assets and convert the results into a highly visual and interactive representation, often in three-dimensional format. By taking mere numbers and words that have traditionally represented a view of IT systems and turning them into a living, breathing entity, modelling tools allow IT managers to better understand how their systems work and to identify potential threats to their well-being.

This is the type of tool that we’re hearing a lot about from vendors these days. It’s the type of tool that will help transform these platforms into much more than they have traditionally been. And IT professionals can fully expect them to become a common tool in their quest to make their systems more efficient and helpful to their employers’ bottom lines.

What we can’t expect, however, is a quick and widespread adoption of modelling tools. For most enterprises, they’re simply another item on the “nice-to-have” list; relatively high prices and the time required to learn and use such tools will help them remain there for at least two or three years.

There will come a time when software modelling will blossom, but for now, the concept is akin to an awkward teen not quite ready for the runway.

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