Scalability and market focus are huge considerations that one may not immediately consider when looking for a systems management solution. The fact is, scalability should not be just something that very large organizations look for as a positive attribute, but also as something that smaller organizations look for as a negative one. More scalable and a focus on the enterprise end of the systems management market, inherently means more complexity. If you have an experienced, dedicated staff to run your systems management solution, this is not a concern. On the contrary, the more complex the better, as this translates to being able to address edge cases and the ability to make the system bend to your current and future needs, no matter how unique. Conversely, smaller organizations typically have a smaller and less specialized systems management team. These IT Generalists are responsible for setting up new servers, upgrading routers, answering end-user requests for upgrades, and performing OS migrations. Having a larger set of responsibilities and less staff, “mid-market” or SMB focused solutions tend to focus on being quick to deploy and easy to use as well as offering a “single pane of glass” experience to minimize what some refer to as “console fatigue”.
What is small, what is mid-sized and what is large? This is a definition that changes depending upon who you talk to and such can be a source of contention and confusion when talking to a product’s focus. Typically, those focused on small to mid-sized customers love to sell to the enterprise, and those focused on the enterprise love to sell to the mid-market.
For enterprise focused solutions, they are by definition focused on only 25% of the market. These deals have a longer sales-cycle and can require specialized sales engineers and even professional services to complete. For mid-market customers, the benefits they market around ease of use, fast deployment and a fast ROI also appeal to the enterprise and when such a deal can be closed it can represent the revenue of what might add up to several smaller customers. Scalability and market focus can be a concerning topic, particularly for those that don’t know where they fall. I recommend speaking to any systems management vendors you talk to about market focus. Get their definition, what they claim their focus to be and why. Everyone wants to sell outside their market for one reason or another but a discussion should reveal just where they really belong.
All that said, I personally consider small to be under 500, mid-sized to be under 5000 (and large/enterprise to be over 5000).
This is one of many systems management features covered here at AppDetails. When considering what features are important to you, we recommend you also contemplate the importance of a strong software inventory, application deployment, an intuitive user console and other systems management features.
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