“The more things change, the more they stay the same.” This adage offers an accurate summary of how organizations currently purchase storage solutions. What are changing are the drivers that affect IT decision making — executives want IT to reduce costs and improve responsiveness to business requirements. From a technology perspective, there are always new storage innovations coming to market—such as deduplication and thin provisioning — that promise to help companies deal with massive data growth. What is staying the same is how IT executes a storage solution purchase. Despite evolving business drivers and innovations, most organizations still procure storage the same way they did a decade ago: by focusing on capacity requirements.
To actually take advantage of the innovations in storage, organizations need a new set of purchase criteria to evaluate the various solutions in the marketplace. By altering their storage buying perspective from a capacity point of view to one that centers on solving real business challenges, businesses can build a more cost-effective, operationally efficient and flexible storage infrastructure.
When buying storage from a business problem perspective, ESG recommends that companies make a concerted effort to avoid making each purchase so unique that the solution only addresses a specific challenge. Having a separate system for every problem precludes any economies of scale that a shared infrastructure could provide. As a result, ESG believes that companies should establish a set of common criteria that becomes a standard part of storage solution RFPs so that IT has the flexibility to build and efficiently run a shared infrastructure. ESG’s suggestions are highlighted in this slideshow.
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