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Demand for integrated information management and data storage

Storage Expo : 14 October, 2009  (Technical Article)
Storage Expo research indicates an overwhelming demand from organisations for information management to be an integral part of their data storage and content management processes
See our events guide listing for more details

Research for the forthcoming Storage Expo has revealed that 85% of organisations want to get their data storage, information and content management, and application development out of their silos and into an IT process that enables businesses to add value.

While the study of over 400 storage professionals showed that people want a more cohesive approach, the current situation is far from ideal, with figures revealing that 75% of organisations often have their information management and data storage working in separate silos.

Steve O'Donnell, Managing Director, ESG EMEA, and a keynote speaker at Storage Expo, believes that multiple barriers need to be broken down in order to make progress and bring storage and information management out of their silos.

He said: "The first and most obvious point is organisation. With information management reporting to the CIO and data storage reporting to the CTO, there is a conflict of objectives. While the CIO wants data tightly integrated into functional business applications, somewhat regardless of costs, the CTO wants a single storage platform that he can squeeze costs out of."

Mr O'Donnell continued: "Sometimes this works but not often. A better approach is to have aligned objectives that focus on delivering business value and treat cost reduction as a secondary, but nevertheless important, objective."

The second point, according to Mr O'Donnell, was greatly improving communication between the business, application development and infrastructure groups to create applications that are designed to operate in the real world.

He continued that the most effective way for organisations to start getting data storage, information and content management and application development out of their silos and into an IT process that enables the business to add value was by combining an effective IT systems architecture with a business aligned technology set management process.

Mr O'Donnell said: "The key is to start top down rather than bottom up."

He identified three steps organisation should take:

1. Define a strategy and requirements for effective information management that deals with structured and unstructured data, public and private sources, security, copyright and privacy requirements.
2. Define a technical architecture, including software, tools and infrastructure that can support this vision.
3. Use financial and business governance processes to migrate to this vision over time as part of the businesses natural cycle of systems refresh and upgrade. Refuse to invest in non strategic solutions and systems unless they can be shown to be special cases.

Mr O'Donnell will give further advice on this subject at Storage Expo in the keynote session "How Storage and Information Management Can Work Together: Top 5 Tips For Aligning Your Business and IT Objectives".

He will be joined by Dave Harding, Head of Technology, BBFC (British Board of Film Classification), Graeme K. Hackland, Head of IS, Renault F1 Team and Shikoh Khan, Storage Platform Manager, Transport for London (TFL) all offering their advice and insight in what is sure to prove an educational session.

5 key points that attendees will be able to take away from this discussion include:

1. How to build a flexible IT infrastructure that can adapt to future demands from business units by adding appropriate technology
2. Define and build an information classification system
3. Deal with structured and unstructured data, such as email
4. How to provide users with appropriate secure information access
5. Provide appropriate resource for applications peaks in demand for space and processing power e.g. year end, sales campaign, etc.

With two days of stimulating and thought provoking seminars that reflect the needs of today's data storage professionals and information management experts, Storage Expo 2009 gives you the chance to improve and update your storage and information management strategies.
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