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Managing Your Data with an Intelligent Assist

Andrew Buss
Research Director, IDC

March 23, 2022

There is one thing that is constant in IT, and that is change. But change, as they say, never comes easy. Change done right results in meeting new requirements with harmony, growth and agility. But change done poorly can halt an organization in its tracks and is a fundamental risk to any business.

As midsized companies become more digitally driven, their IT infrastructure demands have evolved so that their requirements now rival those of large enterprises. This makes managing change more critical than ever. Yet we also hear that for many midsize companies, skills shortages and difficulties attracting, training or retaining staff are key issues holding back effective change and transformation.

This is becoming particularly acute in storage management. Significant advances in midrange storage features and functions are potentially disruptive to organizations new to deploying and managing the advanced capabilities typically found in high-end storage arrays.

Large enterprises have grown the large and specialized IT teams needed to tackle building and managing complex storage networks. Midsize companies are different. They tell us that they typically have far fewer people to call on, and those that they do are more a ‘Jack of all trades’, with more generalized and high-level sets of skills.

This means that storage solutions for midsize companies need to be more than just repacked enterprise products that require complex integration and setup before they can deliver value to a business. They need to be plug and play rather than plug and pray, and this in turn requires significant investment in intelligent management and automation.

Reducing a complicated setup procedure from hundreds of individual steps and choices, to fewer than 10 is no trivial task. Nor is developing integrated predictive analytics designed to automatically optimize the ongoing performance of the storage system, or to detect and solve emerging issues before they become a service outage, without requiring constant time and attention from the IT team. These are now all becoming table stakes for midrange storage solutions.

Simplifying each device is a good start, but the complexity of today’s data center – even in midsized organizations – can still miss the mark if all devices are managed differently. Common approaches to managing infrastructure and common operating systems goes a long way to address the complexity of end-to-end data center operations.

Investment in intelligent automation allows midsized organizations to tame increasingly capable, but also highly complex storage solutions, making it much simpler and easier for a company with smaller teams of generalists to deploy, integrate and manage a storage network that can keep up with the largest enterprises.

So ask yourself honestly, is your storage infrastructure a bit of a diva and asking for too much attention from your IT team? To learn more, visit Hitachi Vantara.

This story is the second in a four-part series by IDC on the digital-first approach to IT.

Be sure to check out Insights for perspectives on the data-driven world.

Andrew Buss

Based in London, Andrew Buss is research director for IDC's European Enterprise Infrastructure program, with responsibility for research covering present and future trends impacting servers, storage and networking and IT service delivery.