IT bosses are storage addicts who can't stop themselves

Storage buyers need help, not capacity

Cat 5 cable

Hardware suppliers are taking advantage of overworked customers to sell them storage they may not actually need, says a study published by CSF, the UK technology services outfit.

The research found that 80 per cent of IT directors admit to buying more storage as a quick fix, to avoid the pain of trying to get more from their current resources. However, 45 per cent went on to blame their suppliers for this, saying the suppliers did not do enough to help them optimise their existing storage investments.

Companies who simply buy more storage to solve immediate problems are storing up trouble for the future, according to CSF business development manager Mark Sweeney. He says they should instead look at improving their storage utilisation via consolidation and improved management.

"Too often, when customers go out to buy storage, it is too easy for the supplier just to accept the purchase order - they don't investigate and ask why they need it," he adds.

It's hard to see what more the suppliers could do for customers who know perfectly well what needs to be done, yet insist on putting off the dreadful day for as long as possible. Fortunately, 40 per cent of the IT managers interviewed by CSF are already getting into storage resource management, and 32 per cent are planning storage consolidation.

Sweeney is sympathetic to the laggards though, and suggests that a good first step for any organisation is a storage audit. "Most have heard of storage services but haven't yet figured out how they can help," he says. "For some, the right solution might well be to buy more storage, but in most cases not enough attention is paid to why they need more."

If you think an IT disaster would turn your organisation titsup.com, you're in good company. An IDC study commissioned by Quantum reveals that 53 per cent of European companies have no business continuity plans in place.

The study of 150 French, German and British companies also found that a quarter had no IT disaster recovery plans, while a third thought it could take longer than two days to restore critical business information. They were aware of new data protection technology such as disk-to-disk, but blamed limited hardware budgets (40 per cent), closely followed by lack of time (38 per cent). ®

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