Monday, January 14, 2013

Extended Service Life Equals Extra Budget



Last week I was visiting customers in Atlanta, GA and the surrounding area and we spoke of their biggest concerns for 2013. Not surprisingly, most of the folks were battling with budgetary uncertainty. The causes were varied, but the effects were the same, tighter cost controls on storage and staff shortages.

I met with two customers in the banking sector; both are understaffed and overwhelmed trying to meet regulatory documentation rules. The cost of compliance with Dodd Frank regulations is so high it has cut into their budgets for new storage equipment, so these customers are looking to extend the life of their NetApp equipment and put more units under our support. They are also looking at how they can use our SimplStor products to cut their costs for archival storage. 

I also met with customers in the media business, and they are also looking for any way to stretch their budget dollars. Without funds for new infrastructure these companies are also looking to stretch the lifespan of their legacy infrastructures. Extending the service cycles of storage infrastructure is one way of reducing costs that is being embraced by corporate America as GDP Growth rates slow and inflation increases. 

Surprisingly, the Department of Defense is one area where there has been little attention paid to extending the life cycles of IT storage equipment.  You might think that an organization that can keep a 50 year old B52 as a front line bomber would understand how to extend the service cycles of equipment.  And yet service and replacement cycle for the DoD’s critical data storage equipment still seems to be dictated by the OEM’s of the equipment.  Maybe Sequestration will bring some sense to DoD procurement cycles. As a taxpayer I hope it does.

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