2009: Do more with less


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Managing operations
The days of massive SRM-type storage management applications are not only numbered, but seem to be gone entirely. Information we've collected in other surveys and interviews shows that storage pros tend to use the tools that come bundled with their hardware, complemented by that old management standby, Excel spreadsheets. Our survey results imply that the dissatisfaction with many management applications is growing, with 57% of respondents stating that storage management apps won't be on their 2009 shopping lists, which is an 11 point hike over last year (see "Will you buy any storage management software in 2009?" below).

If you're a developer of storage management software, you should note that some interest was expressed in our survey for change management software, with 34% indicating they would evaluate or implement a change management application in 2009. Interest in that particular type of storage management capability is likely due to the amount of capacity being added annually and the key role that change management plays in keeping DR plans up to date.

"Our top priority would be trying to get an accurate handle on growth," says Lexington Clinic's Wagner. "A new tool would be nice, but given all the purchases we need to make, that one would be a hard sell."

Uncertain economy
Our survey was conducted

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when the unsettling news of the worldwide economic woes was breaking, which is almost certainly the key reason for the expected decline in 2009 storage budgets. But storage is a fundamental data center component and keeper of the corporate intellectual property, so it's unlikely that any seismic shifts in storage operations will occur in most companies.

Still, an economic downturn of current proportions will undoubtedly have some effect. "As my boss likes to say, 'We have to keep the wheels on the bus,'" notes Thomas & King's DeMersseman. Wagner is equally pragmatic: "We'll have to work out contingencies on how we do it. You can't stop the data."

This was first published in December 2008

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