For as long as most IT service providers can remember most storage systems have been managed in isolation. As a result, it’s been a major challenge to create a managed service around data and storage management. But thanks to the rise of virtualization, software-defined storage (SDS), and the cloud it’s becoming more feasible to create a profitable practice around data and storage management.
Most organizations already waste millions of dollars storing data they don’t really need. This is largely because end users have a tendency to spend more time saving data than they ever do combing through it to find out what they don’t need or want any longer. Most IT organizations, meanwhile, are too traumatized by compliance regulations to proactively make sure the organization is making the most effective use of an all too finite set of storage resources.
The complexity of storage management
Worse yet, a new report from Primary Data, a provider of data virtualization software, finds that half of enterprises (51 percent) manage ten or more types of storage, and that 34 percent manage 20 or more different types of systems. Two-thirds of those IT professionals also report that the storage systems they manage come from anywhere from three to nine different vendors. To make matters more challenging, well over a third (39 percent) report that those storage systems are connected to well over 100 hosts.
While many internal IT organizations have been hesitant to give up control of those systems, there are two trends driving many of them to reconsider their options. The first is the sheer volume of data that now needs to be managed. Not only is the volume of data being managed increasing, but also the types of data being stored are rapidly increasingly. One of the primary culprits of that growth are video and graphics files that are being more commonly used across the enterprise.
The second trend driving IT organizations toward a different storage management mindset is the way the relationship between the IT organization and the rest of the business is evolving. Business leaders are making it clear they want the internal IT organization to be focused more on applications that drive digital business transformations. That means they want them to spent less time on managing IT infrastructure if somebody is available that can do it better.
Looking to managed service providers for help
As part of that process data is no longer a burden to be borne, but rather, a resource to be exploited. But the business exploitation of that data doesn’t necessarily mean the business wants to absorb the cost of full-time storage administrators to manage it. Instead, they want somebody to help them identify the most business relevant data they already have or should be accessing externally.
In the meantime, regardless of where all that data gets stored it still needs to be managed. It’s just the days when organizations were willing to hire lots of administrators to serve as stewards of that data are soon to be over. In its place will rise managed data services that organizations will ultimately derive more business value from than the ever have before.