Research commissioned by Morse, the technology, integration and services company, has shown that UK companies are struggling to manage their data storage assets. 25% of the organisations surveyed admitted that their IT staff are spending over 40% of their time managing storage assets, including operations data, back up, email and application data. 74% of organisations said that data storage management takes approximately 20% of their entire IT department's time.

"Storage management is taking far too long in most organisations. It is an important task but it simply should not be taking 20%, let alone 40% of an IT department's resource," comments Derek Lewis, software manager, Morse IBM division. "Most IT departments are being asked to become more efficient and to concentrate on projects that are adding value to the business. However, unless they find ways to reduce the storage management burden they'll never be able to do this."

Overall the majority of organisations stated that storage management had become increasingly difficult and complex. When asked to list factors contributing to this, 67% cited the increased volume of data in their organisations as a factor. Surprisingly, only 37% listed regulatory compliance issues as a reason for increased complexity. However, 74% of organisations in the financial sector did say compliance was a major factor.

"Companies are clearly struggling to meet their existing storage management requirements. With IDC predicting that the amount of storage businesses require is set to grow at a compound annual rate of 50% until 2007, the problem is only going to get worse unless companies act now," Lewis continued.

The way in which storage is currently being managed in many enterprises is adding further complexity to the IT department's task. Just under/over half the organisations stated that their data was managed in silos across their organisations rather than centrally, while 64% of IT managers said the lack of a central view of all data and associated storage devices was a contributory factor to storage management becoming more difficult and complex.

"Traditionally, organisations have purchased storage on a departmental or application specific basis, hence it is not surprising that so many IT managers feel that managing storage in silos adds to the management burden," Lewis comments. "Many organisations might find that by taking this silo based approach to storage they are actually wasting money. By managing storage centrally, IT managers can increase utilisation in addition to making management easier. They need to look towards virtualisation technology as this will provide them with a single consolidated view of all data and storage resources."

This research, commissioned by Morse, was undertaken by an independent research company, Vanson Bourne, with 100 IT managers from large enterprises across the UK.

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