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Misplaced priorities

Belt tightening continues to shift budgets away from security and information management.

AT GLASSHOUSE, we're interested in how the current concerns about compliance and well-publicized examples of data loss would affect IT priorities for the coming year. Our recent security survey revealed that little attention has been paid to storage security at most companies. A follow-on budget priority survey found that companies continue to focus on unit cost reductions and utilization improvements rather than on security. Backup, archiving and disaster recovery are also given short shrift.

What's happening here? Storage managers know these areas are sorely lacking their attention, yet they admit to placing little emphasis on them, instead focusing on the bottom line. Even though information lifecycle management (ILM) is the No. 1 topic for 2006 in our survey, respondents are thinking about it in terms of tiered storage (as in cost reduction), rather than information management.

My reading of the current state of affairs is that storage professionals (and all of IT) continue to play the hand they're dealt, focusing on bits and bytes and dollars. In IT, we're pigeonholed as techies; as such, we can't campaign for high-level business changes to address classification and information protection issues. We need to elevate our profession before a catastrophic collision

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occurs between data growth and an unclear understanding of its requirements.

This was first published in April 2006

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