Data storage suppliers are failing customers say IT directors

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Data storage suppliers are failing to support organisations in using storage efficiently concludes new research. 45 per cent of IT directors questioned in a survey say suppliers should do more to help customers optimise existing storage investments and 42 per cent want extra help with auditing storage systems.

The Stop Buying Storage research from Computer Solutions and Finance Group (CSF) plc finds that while most IT directors will buy new storage hardware in the next twelve months, 80 per cent admit hardware purchases are often a quick fix to avoid the pain of trying to get more from current resources.

The independent survey of 100 IT directors underpins what CSF will be telling enterprises at Storage Expo (13-14 October 04) where the company will urge IT departments to look for ways to better utilise their existing storage infrastructure before sanctioning new hardware purchases.

When the pressures on and IT directors have several business departments knocking on their doors demanding more storage capacity, its easier and less painful just to add more hardware. But in the long run this will prove a more costly option because you end up maintaining a complex storage infrastructure with numerous pools of underutilised storage capacity, comments Mike Cohen, Sales Director from CSF.

If storage infrastructures are to be managed efficiently, experts agree that it is important for IT departments to conduct regular audits of storage hardware utilisation levels and CSF recommends that a comprehensive audit is conducted at least twice a year. But the research reveals that 66 per cent of companies fail to do this, with 22 per cent of IT directors admitting they had not conducted an audit in the last twelve months.

Audits can often reveal some surprising things about how efficiently an organisation is using its current storage assets, comments Mark Sweeney, Business Development Manager for CSF. For example, in our experience as much as 30 per cent of stored data is not business related, but personal data such as MP3 files. Not only is this using up storage capacity unnecessarily, but adding extra cost in terms of data backup and other management routines.

The research found that buying additional storage hardware was the most frequently quoted storage project mentioned by IT directors, with 54 per cent expecting to make hardware purchases in the next twelve months. But many are also looking to implement solutions to improve efficiency, with 40 per cent planning to put in storage management software and 32 per cent considering consolidation projects.

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