Storage Soup

Jul 11 2011   1:05PM GMT

How CIOs obtain information – observations from the field

Randy Kerns Randy Kerns Profile: Randy Kerns

When talking to CIOs, IT directors and managers, I’m sometimes surprised by what they know – and don’t know – about industry developments. During an education session I held recently, the IT people told me they had not heard of VAAI, the VMware vStorage APIs for Array Integration. This surprised me, given the performance gains yielded by VAAI with storage systems that supported them.

I explained VAAI and the improvements from using vSphere 4.1 and storage systems with VAAI, and then inquired about why they had not heard about it.

Most said that they did not have time to research information themselves and looked to “trusted advisors” for that type of information. The trusted advisors could be a small set of salesmen or sales engineers or the people from well-known independent firms. If the information hadn’t been pushed to them in sessions such as the one I was conducting, they not might not hear about it.

Digging further into their reluctance to research information, there was a general feeling that much of the written information they received had so much hyperbole (note: their actual word was “BS”) that the facts and useful information were obscured.

This means that much of the vendor marketing “amplification” was actually a detriment instead of an effective method of relating the virtues of a product or company. The way IT directors and managers look at this information has big implications in both marketing and in the delivery of storage technology education.

Obviously this is just a personal observation and not a scientific study (as opposed to a marketing study that is intended to obtain the desired results). But it does indicate that any company that invests in delivering information on storage products and technologies should evaluate the effectiveness of its messaging. It also shows the trusted advisor remains the best means of communication.

(Randy Kerns is Senior Strategist at Evaluator Group, an IT analyst firm).

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