The Breaking Point of Information Management

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Information Management Spirals out of Control

There is very little consensus about how to alleviate the problems with information managment.

Data management as we know it today in the enterprise is far too complex an endeavor. That's the basic idea behind an Instant-On Enterprises information management push from Hewlett-Packard.


According to June Manley, worldwide product marketing director for HP Software, the biggest challenge facing IT today is the simple fact that data in the enterprise is managed in isolation. This results in a huge amount of redundant data clogging up servers and storage systems, which Manley says has finally pushed enterprise IT organizations to the breaking point.

To address this issue, HP is pulling together a series of software and storage offerings to establish an HP information management product portfolio. New additions to that portfolio also include tools for monitoring EMC and NetApp storage alongside HP storage. All told, Manley says HP is trying to provide a framework for managing data on a federated basis regardless of where it is located.

At the core of this federated approach to managing data, says Manley, is a relatively simple idea: Data should be stored once and then be easily accessible to any number of applications. That may sound simple, but to accomplish it Manley notes that IT organizations have to create a holistic approach to information lifecycle management that on a practical level has proved elusive.

It also means that IT organizations have to proactively manage the number of applications they can realistically support. That means in the case of virtualization and cloud computing not necessarily letting just anybody spin up a new application simply because it's much easier to do now. It also means being more aggressive about retiring applications that don't provide much value to the business but are still consuming limited IT resources.

Ultimately, Manley says that IT organizations need to develop policies that follow data wherever it goes. Creating those polices will necessitate in-depth discussions with all the stakeholders trying to make use of that data. But unless IT organizations can have that level of discourse with the business executives they are trying to support, it's pretty clear that no substantial progress is ever going to be made in terms of lowering the cost of IT. The real challenge in many cases is not just finding the courage to start a conversation about the value of data and how to manage it, but also setting some realistic expectations about the cost of enterprise IT and the fundamental role that business units all too often play in exacerbating it.