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BLOG: Storage frustrations for Hong Kong businesses

Savio Ng | April 23, 2012
CIOs are facing multiple challenges tied to the exponential growth of digital content.

In a recent survey (MISAsia Enterprise Storage Survey Hong Kong 2012) for CIOs of Hong Kong companies from 13 industries with sizes ranging from less than 100 employees to large corporations with over 1,000 staff, they were asked about their concerns facing their enterprise storage issues. 

They may be framed in a competitive landscape that relies on speed, reliability and cost efficiencies, but the approach to enterprise storage seems to be lagging a little behind.

They are facing multiple challenges, but essentially all of these challenges can be tied back to the exponential growth of digital content: The volume of data in the world is increasing at a nearly incomprehensible rate. 

Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data.  The more astonishing fact is that, 90 percent of the data in the world today was created in the past two years!

The data is coming from sensors, transaction records, images and videos, social media posts, logs and all sorts of other sources.

With this growth, scalability is a consequence and this is compounded with management challenges—improper processes and a lack of tools to simplify tasks.

Constant Struggle

As such, CIOs face a constant struggle to control costs; while disk drives have grown in capacity and lower cost, enterprise storage systems and software, however, do not enjoy the same economics.

What we’ve heard from the CIOs in the survey was, they are most concerned about data loss and data security, but at the same time they are hampered by budget issues to their disaster recovery processes.

Insufficient storage resources are cited as a hurdle to mission critical applications, followed by the lack of storage management tools.

The economics in storage seems to be reflected in the storage budgeting—the majority of 38 percent reported that storage was allocated between one and five percent of their overall IT budget in 2011. 

Unfortunately, the situation looks unlikely to change in the near future as 47 percent of the respondents see between one and 10 percent incremental growth of their 2012 budget.

Nevertheless, there are opportunities for the value of storage technologies to be demonstrated. They include, data duplication, storage virtualisation, auto tiering,  thin provisioning, just to name a few.

We will look deeper on how we can tackle storage challenges in my next blog.

Savio Ng is executive, Systems and Technology Group, IBM China/Hong Kong Ltd.


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