I had meetings with two people yesterday: one was with NetIQ to talk about the new version of its AppManager product and the other was with the IT director of a multinational company - not a Blue Chip player perhaps but a hefty presence in the IT world.

At first sight, AppManager is indeed a useful product, providing a useful tool to the busy sysadmin and this version, Version 7, offers some advanced features such as the 'zero-touch" approach that eliminates manual installations. I don't doubt that there are many companies that would find this product useful.

But there are many more that believe that such products, while solving some problems, add others.

The IT director that I was chatting to, was talking about the stress of managing projects for all the companies in his group, about the delights of costing delivery and about the levels of service that he was committed to. All in all, a fine candidate for the NetIQ product. He admitted that it had features that he would find useful, but he was sniffy about it, saying that it added a layer of complexity to an already complex work model and that he was better off without such distractions. And that, he added, was without mentioning the cost.

As it happens, AppsManager is not horrendously expensive (although budgets are always tight) but one can see what the director means. It seems that every day I receieve a press release about a product that promises to make life easier for IT managers, ignoring the fact that many end up making life even more complicated.