Though SAN software is the hot topic for solving the requirements it is still at 30% of the spend less than the 45% of the budget spent on some form, or other, of data protection. This covers everything from security to back ups, disaster recovery to archiving, etc, whilst the remainder goes on replication management software. The traditional storage market lies in how to use new technology products to tie these three areas together to provide an overall reduction in operating cost with a corresponding increase in flexibility. The CIO is, as ever, faced with the budget and performance driven question of ‘how to do more for less’ whilst facing a entire technology driven change in the provisioning of IT solutions. As ‘processes’ delivered via Application Servers become more numerous, and the move towards Services Orientated Architecture gains momentum, the range of data types being produced is increasing, conversely the demand to use any, and all, data types, as and when, required in any, and all, processes.
The data storage market has expanded to include a wide range of technologies generically known as ECM, Enterprise Content Management. Comprising of the technologies for the capture, management, preservation, and delivery of data in a variety of forms to support business processes. ECM, and ILM, has become important due to the wave of legislation in all major markets emphasising the need to keep and use information in respect of legal requirements. Whether financial, as in the Sarbanes-Oxley act, or recording who and how of personal data use for the data protection act, it boils down to moving from storage of data from applications outputs, a comparatively ‘unstructured’ approach to a ‘structured’ approach where data is seen in context to processes and therefore can be defined as ‘information’. Content merely opens up the term to include multi-media aspects being able to be indexed and used irrespective of the format as contextual data. Thus as the business becomes more reliant on technology, using more and more forms of content to suit the business requirements so the complexity of the CIOs job in understanding how to handle the results becomes more complicated.
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