Information Technology (IT) organizations must continue to innovate and advance their capabilities to deliver services more economically. Without making progress, competitive pressures will overtake IT with the following results:
• The potential to be outsourced will become greater with the promises (irrespective of the reality) of being less costly with more rapid reaction to changing demands.
• Internal groups demanding immediate resources will start looking for alternatives leading to rogue IT operations or rogue use of cloud services. Undoing these decisions can be difficult, both financially and without acrimony.
• Falling behind in IT can hold the company back from maintaining or gaining in a competitive environment.
Several storage technologies can be major contributor to innovation that advances IT. Technologies such as solid state storage for acceleration of access to information can make a major difference in the amount of processing an application can do. Embedded storage system capabilities for data protection using snapshots and remote replication continue to improve with new developments from vendors. Capitalizing on these improvements improve the operational environment and add to moving IT capabilities forward.
But storing and retrieving data with the performance necessary to serve applications is just the first part to consider. How efficiently the information can be managed is the real test of technology advancement.
Information is data with context where the context indicates the value, usage, and form necessary for understanding and using the information. Storage systems that can manage the value and automate the movement to different economic-basis storage and handle data protection provide major advancements in efficiency and ultimately result in greater competitiveness.
IT must make investments in storage technology that advances the capabilities of handling information. Each investment has a return on investment (ROI) payback that can be calculated, and an improvement in total cost of ownership (TCO) over the longer term. More importantly, the investments advance IT capabilities to be more competitive in the face of ongoing pressures.
(Randy Kerns is Senior Strategist at Evaluator Group, an IT analyst firm).