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APAC CIO survey on storage

Hitachi Data Systems Corporation has unveiled the results of a survey conducted amongst CIOs from the Asia Pacific region.

IT costs today are escalating due to increasing demands for data and information. CIOs will are under greater pressure to justify IT investments based on business value rather than cost avoidance. It is no surprise then, that the survey, which polled 100 respondents from China, Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Korea and Indonesia reveals that 64 percent of respondents said that the best thing vendors could do to support them was to build ROI assessments for their storage investments.

A Focus for 2007: Meeting Business Needs and Managing Cost

Cost and management issues continue to be a concern amongst IT leaders within organisations in the region. Going into 2007, 45 percent of respondents indicated reducing storage management costs as a key challenge they would like to address, while 38 percent of respondents believe that ensuring their IT infrastructure will meet business needs will continue to be an important focus for the coming year.

The following are some of the business issues which will be of focus, and CIOs will be trying to balance these requirements while managing costs:

  • Business continuity: Every CIO fears the potential loss of company data, and as a result, revenue in the event of an emergency. Ensuring all files are backed up and kept safe in a separate location is of paramount importance, and this will be borne out in 2007 as more and more organisations put business continuity plans into place.
  • Security: Regardless of industry, a company’s employee base will continue to use a multitude of applications. It is the CIO’s responsibility to ensure the data supporting these applications is secure but still easily accessible when needed. With increasingly strict rules governing data security, and penalties for improper management, achieving the balance between security and usability is going to have a place near the top of the priority list.
  • Increase in regulation: The number of regulations companies must comply with is multiplying, creating exponential growth in the amount of data that needs to be stored. This is an opportunity for companies to mine and manage their most important assets.

The Next Three Years: Dealing with Convergence and Interoperability

As companies continue to leverage technology to meet business needs, gearing up the company IT environment will continue to be of importance. According to the survey, 38 percent of respondents believe that the convergence of technologies will have the biggest influence over storage growth in the next three years. In addition, 39 percent of the respondents believe that in the next three years, the biggest concern of CIOs will be to manage increasingly complex IT environments with minimal resources. This is especially with the increase use of various technologies from different vendors as well as shrinking IT resources.

Within this context, 42 percent of respondents believe that an important factor influencing business success is the interoperability of technologies from different vendors, while 23 percent think that adopting a centralised approach to management as well as a future proof IT infrastructure are equally important factors.

This is especially crucial as the trend for mergers and acquisitions among companies across a range of industries is likely to continue in 2007.  This adds complexity as CIOs integrate the different IT infrastructures. Using a vendor which offers common management across heterogeneous storage devices will help in this instance. It will also alleviate the problem of different IT skills in the IT department which can be an inhibitor to an efficient and easy integration.