NETWORK WORLD NEWSLETTER: MIKE KARP ON STORAGE IN THE ENTERPRISE
Today's focus: The value of automation
This column often looks at the subject of storage automation. Today we will look at the question of what the current set of storage administrators hopes to get from their automated systems.
Our survey last month addressed this issue by asking readers where they looked to extract value from the process of automating their workplaces. Some of the results follow.
To understand what managers expect from an investment in automated tools, our survey listed seven benefits of automation. We then asked IT managers in two separate questions which of these they felt would give them the fastest payback, and which would offer their sites the greatest long-term benefit.
What do managers see as the most likely benefits of automation that will provide them with short-term payback? The first answer is probably predictable, but that makes it no less disturbing.
Seventy percent of the managers (the overwhelming leader) expected to get the
fastest payback from an ability to manage increased resources with a smaller
staff. The obvious inference
Managers saw the next most likely sources for rapid payback as coming from
"maintaining/improving service levels" and from "performance optimization."
"Improving business process continuity" came in a somewhat distant fourth. This
at least provides the user community with the hope that IT is not looking merely
to reduce costs. IT managers also plan at least to
Expectations for long-term value mapped closely to expectations for short-term benefits. Managing more resources with fewer personnel, maintaining/improving service levels, and ensuring continuity of business process were seen as long-term value leaders, just as they were when quick payback was the issue.
Enhanced asset utilization scored fourth with the survey's respondents when
they considered the long-term value of the automation investment. In fact, half
the storage managers in the
This inclination on the part of IT management to seek better value from asset
utilization is all about provisioning, and should be a wakeup call for the
vendors. Whether a vendor's
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Last Modified: March 9, 2008