Managed IT Systems White Paper

Problem - While computers were invented to make business processes more efficient, the process of implementing and administering IT systems is far from efficient. The extreme inefficiency in administering IT systems greatly diminishes the value of those systems to the organization.

According to IBM vice president of Sales and Distribution, Mark Lautenbach, "Small to medium size businesses typically want a 'bundled solution' for their computing requirements." While these organizations are looking for a complete solution which provides great benefits, the IT industry offers them a complex variety of bits and pieces which these organizations are expected to assemble into the IT systems they desire. Audrey Rasmussen, Network World, writes: "The problem today is that IT managers must put together their own approach to client management, using point products that may or may not be combined with product suites. No one vendor does it all today." So, not only must they develop their own IT system, they must develop systems to manage those IT systems.

This is absolutely insane and absurd!

The result is that there is a huge redundancy of engineering being done across organizations. Traditional methods of administering computers utilize a 1:1 basis of highly skilled and paid administrators to perform the necessary tasks. The Gartner Group Inc., "Estimates that businesses can spend up to $10,000 a year per PC installing and upgrading applications and maintaining PCs and the network."

Additionally, common ideals from a business point of view such as: change management, audit trails, roll-back capabilities, redundancy, and true security are not core attributes of IT systems. While business executives are required to personally vouch for the integrity of their organization, the validity of financial statements, and the security of confidential information, their IT systems have not been equipped to facilitate those fundamental requirements.

Solution - The world's largest organizations have the resources required to produce high quality IT systems. They research and combine together quality products from many vendors into an IT system which meets the needs of their organization. The founders of LFSF have been focusing on and specializing in this process since 1987.

LFSF's vision is to deliver its expertise of developing complete IT systems as a rapidly reproducible commodity service. A Systems Management software system will be developed from ground up. LFSF will leverage it to efficiently deliver component business solutions which rapidly assemble together like pieces of an Erector set. This facilitates delivering world class IT systems at a fraction of the traditional cost. Economies of scale are created for those performing the administration, and a superior ROI from the IT system. This software and intellectual property (IP) will be branded with the names MichaelDist™ and SysCaster™.

It is necessary to the success of this plan to develop the Management Software for a number of reasons:

  • Achieve a single Systems Management Software system which is capable of fulfilling all aspects of IT system deployment and administration.
  • A focus on capturing and leveraging IP. A focus on arriving at the desired IT system in the most efficient way possible.
  • Support the same capabilities on multiple operating system platforms.
  • In order to become a commodity, the total cost of the IT management system must be reduced. Since LFSF provides the Management Software and IP as Open Source Software / Free Software (OSS/FS), costs are greatly reduced freeing up financial resources for consulting and other project requirements.

MichaelDist™ and SysCaster™ are the only SMB focused solutions which allows those organizations to efficiently convert raw IT products into complete world class IT systems without having to develop all of the required IP on their own.

Third party vendors are able to benefit from the SysCaster™ environment by providing their software directly to their clients by connecting SysCaster™ to the Internet. Clients are able to subscribe to software directly from the vendor, SysCaster™ takes care of the usage metering, distribution of the software and updates, and provides vendors with application health details which is a valuable resource when their clients contact them for support. Proprietary software installer technology, physical media, software activation schemes are all things of the past with SysCaster™.

The financial benefits of utilizing Management Software to administer IT systems is outstanding. Consider below the conservative projections which merely focuses on the benefits of the Software Management module. Assumptions have been utilized as follows:

  • 100 Computers running Windows XP Professional and Business Applications
  • Labor costs are $50 hourly
  • 8 hours average to package a piece of software into the Management Software and successfully deploy it to all of the computers
  • Each in-person workstation visit requires ½ hour of time
  • 6 software application are deployed to the computers during the year (Install or Upgrade)


Number of Touches Traditional Hours Managed Hours Hours Saved Cost Avoidance

Typical Yearly IT Administration Tasks

Monthly Security Updates






Yearly Software Deployments / Upgrades






Workstation Hardware Refresh Deployments






Total Cost Avoidance Summary

Labor / Financial Cost Avoidance






Market - Overview - According to concerning the SMB market, "The total number of these businesses is over 5.6 million, 5.3 million have less than 20 employees." According to, the SMB market of organizations with 500 or less employees accounts for 55,729,092 employees in the USA alone.

Current Conditions - The Quocirca reported, "Achieving Best Practice in IT Management for SMEs," which is based on a poll of 241 companies with 1,000 or fewer employees, shows that less than 25 percent of SMBs are fully protected against intrusions and security vulnerabilities; most respondents said they lack the time, money and resources to be fully prepared.

Karen D. Schwartz, eWEEK, writes, "Unlike larger organizations, which usually have remote data centers storing all mission-critical data at regular intervals, smaller companies often don't have the resources, experience or foresight to set up a disaster recovery or business continuance plan until the unimaginable—in the form of a natural disaster, crippling virus, utility interruption or even an act of terrorism—strikes."

According to Mike Piltoff, Champion Solutions Group, "Although large companies sometimes have inadequate disaster recovery, we don't see much of any type of disaster recovery for data implemented for SMBs."

Sean Stenovich, M&S Technologies, "They're thinking anti-virus protection, anti-spam software; not intrusion protection, system backups. I feel their pain. I'm a small business owner too. They have to prioritize, and they end up with gaps in their protection."

To date, no vendor has developed a strategy to deliver world class IT systems to this enormous SMB market. The SMB market operates daily without the knowledge of the capabilities of a true world class IT system... there is a huge disconnect between current capabilities in the IT industry and this enormous SMB market. There exist challenges to simply educate the SMB market as to the capabilities which exist. Further, LFSF's ability to deliver those capabilities to them at a lower cost than they pay to maintain their current IT system. With the correct marketing and education, the SMB market will be very excited about the services LFSF is making accessible to them.

Competition - Competitors to this venture have been categorized as follows:


  • This firm currently holds a majority of the SMB market.
  • Their offerings are centric to their own products - they do not assist clients with selecting the best vendors / products to solve the business problems and then implement that solution for them.
  • This vendor suffers from frequent security issues with their products. Commonly other vendors produce products which provide the same capabilities but do so securely.

  • These firms focus on very large organizations, the other 1% of the market. In this way they are not a competitor.
  • They do however assist their clients with developing world class IT systems. Firms such as these rely on Professional Services consulting to deliver IP to their clients. With this arrangement a high cost consultant is required to deliver the IP to the client. Additionally each implementation solution is heavily customized to the client's existing environment which makes the developed IP harder to re-use. Client staffing for such environments is more complicated than necessary as the HP / IBM tool is only half of the picture, the customization to fit that tool into the client IT system allows for diverse contrast. With that knowledge stuck inside employees heads, the pendulum swings towards "Mac Truck" issues and organizations become scared to fully leverage their IT system for fear they will loose the person that knows how to make it all happen. This is the solution, to greatly leverage IT systems AND not create "Mac Truck" issues!

  • Firms like Altiris develop Management Software only which they target at the SMB market. They do not offer an entire IT system solution, merely tools to ease the pain of administering IT systems using traditional methods.
  • As with HP / IBM offerings, there is a great amount of custom integration of the tool into the client environment. It is harder to re-use IP between implementations. Again with staffing, being experienced with the tool is only half of the story as there is great diversity between implementations.

Competition Conclusion - LFSF has a radically different view of IT systems. This view is focused on the resulting IT system, and how to produce it as efficiently and reliably as possible. The majority of the IT industry has remained focused though the years on trendy products which catch media interest, create sales, and keep the wheels of product development turning. Many of the media famed products have turned out to be worthless pieces of junk, but clients purchased them because the media touted the greatness of the product. Such a relationship with clients does not produce a long term relationship where the client would not consider switching vendors as they have never received such a high level of service from any other vendor previously. That by far is LFSF's focus when it comes to competition... out deliver the competition with solutions focused on the success of the client, and utilize their contributions to maintain a large lead ahead of the competition.

Copyright © 2006 by Lueck Free Software Foundation™
Last update:   28 June 2006