Few people argue that information is important. The value of information varies and changes over time but is the most critical resource for most organizations.
Yet, we see storage products where the importance of storing, accessing, and managing information is not addressed effectively or is seemingly trivialized.
There is complexity in managing information, especially as value changes. Requirements must be met when storing and managing information. It must be available, 100 percent valid, secure from an access standpoint, and protected from disasters, hardware failures and human errors.
People in IT often forget about these requirements, as do vendors. We see storage products that only emphasize moving data to execute a program against it, assuming there is no real issue regarding storage beyond that. They ignore that with the high value of information, the residency of information is with storage and is transient for servers and networks. The stewardship of information required for the processing and analysis is the responsibility of where the data is stored.
Another important consideration is that information is stored for a long time, typically for decades. The real concerns are about storing, managing, and administering the information over that period. The infrastructure will change over that time. Think of how many servers will be replaced over the information’s lifespan. This is also the area where major costs are incurred. The costs for storing and managing information over its lifespan can be far more significant than other technology costs.
Systems and solutions must make allowances for the cost of storing information for the lifespan of the data. When solutions do not address that concern, someone (the customer who understands the value of the information) must incur greater cost and effort to add those capabilities. To not do so adds an unacceptable measure of risk. The priority of information must be covered effectively when evaluating and making decisions about storage.
(Randy Kerns is Senior Strategist at Evaluator Group, an IT analyst firm).