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Collaborative IT Management Update

As most people who talk with me for more than 5 minutes on the topic of IT management know, the idea of “collaborative IT management” is a pet-topic of mine. So, when given the chance to write a relatively open-ended piece for TechTarget, I wrote-up a short piece outlining what’s been going on recently in collaborative IT management:

The term “more heads are better than one” has a dicey applicability in IT management. As with most technological problems, too many cooks in the kitchen can make the problem worse. Yet, seeking assistance outside of one’s own head and team has long been a hallmark of how the IT department does its job. It’s easy to forget our pre-web lives when USEnet was a hot-bed for rough-made collaboration in posts along the lines of “how do I fix this problem? Error messages below…” Before that, we can assume there was only darkness: using the phone or actually talking to people face-to-face!

Joking aside, we’ve come a long way since even the days of Googling with error codes. Here, we’ll consider what some vendors and services are doing to move beyond the usual methods of collaborative IT management.

The emerging methods can be grouped into two categories: sharing configuration and group problem solving. Both enable collaboration beyond the firewall, pulling in help from outside of the datacenter payroll.


It’s a short piece, so I don’t dive too much into specific examples, but there’s some call outs to Splunk, Paglo, Spiceworks, and FiveRuns.

Disclosure: Splunk, Spiceworks, and FiveRuns are client.

Categories: Collaborative, Community, Ideas, Social Software, Systems Management.

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5 Responses

  1. Cote'

    Here's an emerging product that fits right in here to the collaborative IT management space. It's a combination Run Book, Run Book Automation and Wiki platform solution that is sure to turn up the heat on the Big4 and others.

    Specifically, the Resolve solution is an offering from a company called generationE Technologies (

    More details available in this PDF:

    I walked through the product today, it's going to be really really powerful. They've got some big name clients already with great success stories.

    Look for an upcoming webinar and marketing campaign.


  2. Michael: Glad to see that you are carrying this torch in the analyst community. Both Splunk and Paglo are doing some interesting work in collaborative IT management; the later with even more potential given its opportunity to capitalize on the aggregated data afforded by their SaaS business model. While our candle flamed out too early at Klir, I am eager to watch market developments in this area. Vendors can learn a lot from existing consumer sites, bringing to bear some of the usability, interaction and (more importantly) the intelligence that can be extracted from large volumes of data to help make the IT collaboration meaningful. Getting over these hurdles are not insurmountable, provided vendors recognize that the smartest guys in the room are the IT professionals themselves.

    The challenge is providing a platform where the applied knowledge of IT professionals can be shared dynamically based on the problems at hand (necessitating an understanding of the variables that matter) – versus forcing a search through countless posts and user forums. IMO, that is the most difficult part of the equation.

    James MaioccoAugust 8, 2008 @ 12:00 pm

Continuing the Discussion

  1. […] Finally, we wrap-up with me amazed at the explosion in cloud-hype chatter out there and we spend a pretty large chunk of time talking about thin desktops right before I wrap up by plugging my recent piece on collaborative IT management. […]

  2. […] develop a theory of how you can monetize the community around open source stacks via telemetry and collaborative IT management (or “social business software” to generalize it) for sometime now. Ask us for more info […]

  3. […] a lot of time on this – he calls it “telemetry” – and if you search for “collaborative systems management” or “collaborative IT management” in my stuff from a few years ago, you can see me whacking at the […]