The Internet Shakes Up the Management of Distributed Networked Infrastructures, IDC Says

FRAMINGHAM, MA – MARCH 21, 2000 — The Internet is causing a major shift in the management of distributed networking infrastructures. According to IDC, the shift is moving the management of traditional distributed network and desktop systems away from the customer premise and back to the mainframe or "timeshare" model of datacenter-based service delivery.

"The impact of this shift is enormous," said David Tapper, an analyst with IDC's Networked Infrastructure Management Services (NIMS) research program. "Not only is this datacenter-based model laying the foundation for a thin-client-like service delivery environment, but it will also result in both a major realignment of players among existing management service providers and the emergence of new leaders."

While this new datacenter service structure might greatly resemble the old mainframe model, there is one critical difference: With the new model, the Internet is used as the conduit for service delivery. And this one difference is spawning a whole new breed of networked infrastructure management services providers that are building their offerings around Internet-based customer needs and incorporating Internet management services into these offerings.

"A unique feature to this new model is that instead of a single-source provider delivering most of these services, the market is primarily comprised of a triumvirate of players. These include vendors delivering infrastructure management, 'client' (e.g., desktop, telephone) management, and systems monitoring services," Tapper said. "However, service providers from these three segments will either merge or behave in a cooperative manner so that they mimic a single-source provider."

According to IDC, delivering Internet-based networked infrastructure management services will present vendors with several advantages, including reduced costs, increasing revenues, and improved customer service. However, service providers will also have to do a better job of managing customer expectations because the new model will reduce the customer's control of IT assets and systems.

"The goal is to alleviate customers' fear of losing direct control by providing them with a set of tools and standards to measure and track how well their service providers are contributing to their businesses," Tapper said.

IDC's new report Managing Networked Infrastructures: The Internet Way (IDC #B21710) examines how the Internet is impacting the delivery of network, client/server, and application management services. The report discusses key drivers of the Internet-centric, utility-based networked infrastructure management services model, the emerging service delivery model and players, and the market opportunity. Market challenges as well as the competitive landscape are also examined. To order a copy of the report, contact Cheryl Toffel at 1-800-343-4952, ext. 4389 or at

About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, relevant, and high-impact data and insight on information technology to help organizations make sound business and technology decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide IT markets and technology trends and analyzes IT products and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC is committed to providing global research with local content through more than 500 analysts in 43 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of International Data Group, the world's leading IT media, research, and exposition company.

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