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4 good reasons to transform your storage environment

by Andre Carpenter

 

Infrastructure technology is constantly evolving; if I think about the architecture of the technology I was in touch with eight years ago, I’m amazed at the groundbreaking advances we’ve seen. Technology really has been revolutionized and evolutionized in its development – right across the stack.

 

That’s especially true of enterprise storage technologies, where we have seen the rise of thin provisioning advances, deduplication and compression – all examples of efficiencies looking to reduce power consumption and resource usage. Today’s storage architectures are designed to take advantage of cloud, Big Data, and converged infrastructures (for a quick look at the current state of your environment, check out our free online Storage Infrastructure Readiness Assessment).

 

The challenge, as always, is to implement strategic technological changes on time and within budget, to make sure your firm keeps up with the shifting opportunities and threats in the competitive ecosystem. (Now, whilst that may sound to some like academic fluff, it does hold truth in it!)

 

So why do we transform? In a business context, there may be many reasons why a firm would change the way things are, and in the technological context just as many reasons are viable. But whether business-driven or technology-driven or both, it’s important that the decision rises above the nuts-and-bolts and takes a strategic view.

 

Here are my top 4 reasons for launching a storage transformation:

 

1. Achieve simplicity. Is less more? It can be. Moving to simpler technology and storage architecture usually results in less management overhead, as there are fewer layers in the environment to manage, monitor and replace. Sometimes the result of that is a reduction in the headcount that’s needed to manage the storage infrastructure, which can in turn reduce OPEX.

 

2. Contain costs. This question had to come up: Is reducing cost a strategic decision? Yes and no. It can be said that there are arguments on both sides of the coin. However, from a competitive strategy perspective, reducing cost – whether it be the cost of maintaining an aging storage infrastructure, or the overhead of managing the storage – is always going to help the bottom line and free up budget for innovation. And remaining innovative IS needed to remain competitive.

 

Which brings us to …

 

3. Amp up innovation. Is there a better way to do things? Are the advances of the newest storage technology really going to make an impact on the way your business runs?  Can you offer better services to your customers through these advances? If the answers are yes, yes, and yes, you have a strong case for transforming your storage environment and making a business case for optimizing your infrastructure.

 

 

4. Drive efficiency. Again, efficiency is heavily tied to cost in decision-makers’ eyes; I rarely talk to IT leaders who cite “saving the environment” as the principal reason behind their desire to refresh their storage environment. Energy efficiency is more a nice-to-have rather than a need-to-have.Still, as time goes on, equipment gets slower, older, and clunkier. In an enterprise storage context, your environmental footprint can be costly. If you can achieve the same result with a newer, faster, and less resource-hogging piece of technology – then why wouldn’t you?

 

 

Just about everything in transforming comes back to cost, and, of course, IT organizations have limited budgets. But it’s worth remembering that transformation is not just about new products driven by newer specs and innovations – it’s about how the organization can consume and use storage as an enabler to the core business, to achieve better outcomes.

 

Still feel lost? Take a look at our Storage Transformation Experience Workshop. Find out what is really going on in your storage and backup environment, and work towards building a future-state business built on true strategy.

 

And watch our HP Storage Transformation whiteboard video to learn how we can help you meet today’s storage challenges.

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