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Scott Keister, senior manager, enterprise systems at World Kitchen LLC in Corning, NY, has a lot of opportunities to compare his upstate salary to those in New York City, which are sometimes higher but always accompanied by a higher cost of living.

"For this area, I think my salary is very competitive," says Keister, 41, who has worked for the dinnerware manufacturer for the last 12 years. He attributes his longevity to a corporate mission to continue technology investments to improve business processes.

"Our EMC sales rep comes in and says for the size of your company, the things that they have allowed you to get is just amazing," says Keister. He attributes this, in part, to a CIO that was promoted from within the ranks and was the former director of enterprise services. "He has been a good speaker for us--to challenge the business to make sure they provide us with the technology we need to make sure the business runs as well as it does," says Keister.

When it comes to spending on storage, 53% of those surveyed estimate that their company spent less than 15% of their 2008 IT budget on storage. Another 13% estimate between 16% and 20% of total IT dollars went toward storage. Another 14% figure storage received more than 20% of the total IT budget. (Twenty percent of respondents said they didn't know.)

Keister says he's lucky his job allows for (or requires) a lot

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of strategizing. Storage professionals are dividing their time almost evenly between storage design, primary storage operations and backup, according to our survey. And another 15% of their time is spent on maintenance.

"I would say we spend an enormous amount of time each year strategizing and planning improvement," says Keister. "It helps us develop a real three-year strategy and it's amazing--it works." There's one good way to say for sure that a company cares about its technology investments, notes Keister. "When budget season comes around and you ask for things and you get it. That's when you know they get it," he says.



This was first published in November 2008

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