Recently, Forrester picked apart and compared the Active
Directory management offerings from the largest players in the space. This is a
market that continues to grow and where players are jockeying for position,
making strategic acquisitions, and refocusing their solutions. Symantec doubled
down on auditing and compliance by rolling their BindView solutions into their
broader suite. Quest Software acquired ScriptLogic – a move that certainly
helps them better target the mid market. Beyond all of that, we see a few
factors and trends that will shape this space in 2008 and further down the road

  • PowerShell’s growing importance. Perhaps a dry topic to
    some, Microsoft’s PowerShell will start to take a much more critical role in
    the way IT organizations manage their Microsoft infrastructure. The scripting
    language will gain more traction as products like Windows Server 2008 are
    released with it included. As administrators begin to automate and tie together
    their management process with PowerShell, vendors will have to continue to
    adapt their solutions to work with – and leverage this powerful scripting
  • SharePoint’s swelling adoption. Its adoption in the
    enterprise can be best described as viral and IT organizations are faced with
    managing and streamlining SharePoint’s deployment and use. As firms begin to
    rely more on SharePoint to create and share information, they’ll face the same
    challenges that they do in the rest of their Active Directory and Exchange
    environments in managing and demonstrating what data their users — and
    administrators – have access to and can change. Organizations will require the
    same sophistication for SharePoint in management, recovery, auditing and
    reporting tools that they have for their rest of their network.  
  • Blurring infrastructure boundaries. Outsourcing, hosting,
    and services in the cloud are top of mind at many firms as they look for the
    most cost-effective way at delivering services, like Exchange, to their users.
    But along with the promise of leaner budgets will come new challenges as firms
    will need to integrate and rationalize their employees’ use of services with
    their existing management systems. Whether the service lives inside their
    datacenter or in a provider’s, enterprises will need help tying the use of
    these systems into their auditing, reporting, and management systems.

It’s going to be an interesting year with a lot of balls in
the air to watch. Have a fun and safe New Year!

By Christopher Voce

Check out Christopher’s research.