In reading another blog operated by someone close to the ZENworks product at Novell, I found a very short but interesting entry.
In short, this individual was musing about the fact that a book entitled "How ZENworks Saved My Life" could have a very real market. This person and another colleague were agreeing that a book designed for management moreso than the rank-and-file IT staff, that outlines what a sound desktop management and/or standardization strategy can do for your bottom line, would help eliminate a substantial sales barrier.
I agree. For a long time, I've argued that the net result of Novell's marketing efforts could be captured in the phrase "all the wrong people get it".
There are lots of good technical guides on the product, but the 1's and 0's are only about 25% of the picture in my estimation. Having been at a number of organizations that shaped their policies and processes around use of a management suite such as ZENworks, this book seemed to write itself in my mind. The rest would be Mozartian "scribbling and bibbling" so to speak.
He said 'one day it might get written'. Hate to seem as if I'm about to plagurize an idea, but I had actually started writing such a book about 4 years ago and was stopped by a career. I think my title was something along the lines of "ZEN Nuddhism" - I was younger then. Perhaps I'll be the one who writes it, or at least one who contributes largely to it.
I think such a book should be required reading for IT managers, CIO's, CFO's, etc. It really is hard sometimes to make the connections between standardization and return on investment if you've never seen it happen. I'm continually surprised at how many IT shops are still doing things the hard way. If management realized how much time and money are being wasted by IT staff working hard instead of working smart, they'd likely suffer an involuntary bodily reaction of some kind.
I'm not advocating that costs be cut and people be fired - I'm advocating that spending on IT be made and measured at a level that can actually generate a return, not simply considered a recurring expense. Not every IT manager knows how to convey this story, but any IT manager (or CIO for that matter) worth their salt will know that selling it to their organization is mandatory if they are ever to reach the next level.