Business customers – mostly large enterprises but not exclusively – are suffering from an impending storage crisis that can be partly solved by automation, according to the latest research from Forrester.
Rachel Dines, senior analyst at Forrester Research, was speaking to press on the eve of the annual Fujitsu Forum in Munich today. Dines said the market watcher's analysis only confirms that data processing needs coupled with similarly expanding business requirements are far exceeding what the storage technology can cope with.
"It is no surprise," Dines said. "And 25 per cent of business leaders said that the IT hampers what they are trying to do. That's not good."
The phenomenon is down to several reasons – not least that servers have got so much faster and the storage hardware is just too slow, she said.
Why do businesses need to be able to handle more data and information at greater speed?
Dines said her research crystallised five main areas of concern: a need to compete and maintain or develop competitive advantage based on a real fear that rivals will snap up their customers; rising employee and customer expectations of what can be achieved; the cost of downtime; accountability to shareholders; and globalisation.
Yet at the same time, her 2013 surveys have pinpointed that most businesses also want to free up more cash for innovation. European businesses indicated that they wished to spend only 41 per cent of their IT budget on maintenance and operations – down from 48 per cent in 2013.
"This obviously plays into the big data revolution that we are seeing," Dines said. "But only one in three believes that IT is well aligned to business needs. And 25 per cent of business leaders say that IT hampers their success."
Dines concluded that automating more tasks, particularly when it comes to storage technology, can free up skills and other resources so customers can focus on innovation.
This should be applied across the board, and with a focus on order to cash, payroll and other critical business processes.
Frank Reichart, senior director of IT infrastructure solutions at Fujitsu, said the new Eternus DX Series, available in December, is incorporating a lot more automation, boosting the IOPS to one million at the higher end of the range.
"We have completely innovated the storage management software to do more innovation [for example]," Reichart said. "The message to customers is that you can do the same with a smaller system, or do more with the same system class."
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