Although the storage market continues to be one of the few IT sectors that is showing positive growth, things have changed. There is a palpable sense that storage decision makers, entrepreneurs, and movers and shakers within the industry are pondering things more carefully. Perhaps they want to see whether the economy as a whole resumes growth in a convincing manner. Perhaps they are trying to figure out how storage will fare in the larger post-Y2k, post-Internet bubble IT shake out. Or, particularly in the case of end users, they may simply be wondering which of the myriad storage technologies, standards, and schemes being promoted is the right one to bet their career or company on.
With all those questions in the air there may be more reasons than usual to attend one of the many storage industry events slated for the summer, fall, and early winter. After all, where else can one get so much unfiltered information and do so much "reality-checking" at one time. Here's a listing of some to consider:
Which event to attend? Cost and convenience are certainly one factor. In addition, William Hurley, a former Yankee Group analyst, now an "information architect at YottaYotta, Inc., advises matching attendance to your storage buying cycle. Thus, for most organizations, summer and early fall is still optimal in terms of using the event to help solidify near-term purchasing decisions.
Tony Prigmore, an analyst with Enterprise Storage Group also suggests that IT professionals should examine carefully the source of information at each show or seminar. Ideally, he says, there should be a good balance between vendors and actual IT professionals and independent analysts.
"Given how hard it is…to pull away from day-to-day duties, [users] need to consider the trade offs between a multi-day event or a single day event," says Prigmore. "The good news here is that the options are abundant in both categories," he adds.
Finally, he advises storage pros to look for events that will offer content in areas specific to current problems or future needs.
For more information:
Check out the line-up of speakers, analysts and CEOs that will be attending the free Storage Decisions show in Chicago next month.
SD 2002 speaker John Toigo offers his advice on Disk vs. tape
Get more information on Conferences and Shows in our Best Web Links section.
About the author: Alan Earls is a freelance writer in Franklin, MA.