Desktop management software supplier Altiris achieved a rare feat in 2002. It was one of only a handful of technology companies to complete a successful initial public offering.
That achievement was due in part to its impressive sales growth: revenues for the year were up 83% $62.9 million. And that, in turn, was
due to the fact that Altris’ technology is a compelling proposition for cost-conscious CIOs.
The company’s product set, which encompasses software distribution, migration, asset inventory and remote computer management, is designed to reduce the costs of supporting both office and mobile workers. According to analyst group Gartner, deploying desktop management software can more than halve a typical organisation’s PC management costs.
There are also three other factors driving adoption of such software. First, Microsoft will stop supporting Windows 98 and earlier desktop environments from July 2003 onwards. As a result, many organisations will be compelled to invest in software that can automate the distribution of Windows upgrades.
Second, reduced budgets means IT departments increasingly have to do more work with fewer resources. Desktop management software can help staff fix PC users’ problems without physically having to send out an engineer.
Finally, Altiris’ remote management and back-up capabilities mean that the growing ranks of mobile workers – often using a variety of device types and operating systems – can more easily be supported from a central server.
However, while these market drivers have generated a significant increase in revenue for Altiris, relying on such capricious factors as Microsoft’s upgrade cycles may not secure the company’s fortunes in the longer term. And while IT budget control and remote working is expected to continue to generate interest in desktop management, the sector is attracting more and more competitors.
For example, a number of other companies in related fields, including LANdesk, Marimba and Novadigm, have begun to roll out similar products. Altiris will, therefore, have its work cut out topping its achievements of 2002.