Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A welcome cloud during the economic recovery

By Ed Pearce (

In spite of hopeful signs that the economy is on the mend, the 2010 State of Storage report from Network Computing finds that the fallout from the recession has left IT execs without the resources necessary to store the rising volume of information required to support their business applications.

Nearly half (47 percent) of the respondents to the survey say they have insufficient storage resources for their mission-critical applications, while 30 percent say they have insufficient tools for storage management. Another 30 percent of respondents say they have insufficient storage resources for departmental/individual use. Nineteen percent say they lack staff for their storage requirements.

And -- regardless of economic "green shoots" -- the situation isn't likely to change any time soon: 34 percent of respondents say they have an insufficient storage budget to meet their business demands.

Against this backdrop, it's little wonder that survey respondents are showing increased interest in cloud storage services (34 percent in 2010 versus 19 percent in the 2009 State of Storage report).

With a hosted variable cost storage model, if your business struggles, and your volumes drop, your operations costs will be aligned with your usage, and you won’t pay for a “just-in-case” capital investment. The variable cost model also eliminates the need for capital investment (software licenses and hardware) or maintenance contracts; customers typically are charged a one-time load fee to archive documents. And when an array fills up, or a server must be replaced, it’s your service provider’s problem. Using a thin-client interface, there may not even be software to install, manage or maintain. In addition, variably priced storage solutions can facilitate more effective operations by providing scalability that would be very cost prohibitive in a traditional, licensed in-house system.

CBA Chief Information Officer Michael Harte spoke for many users when he recently told the Committee for Economic Development in Australia that, "I will never implement an internal solution for a common problem that I could procure on subscription across the Web."

With the economic recovery still gaining strength, the trend for 2010 will be the more efficient use of existing IT resources. That should make hosted solutions a welcome cloud during the turnaround.

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