Every business faces spiralling costs for storing and handling its information, often experiencing near exponential increases in storage capacity requirements. Data once discarded may now be kept ‘just in case', for instance because it might just be needed to comply with increasingly national and international data laws and regulations. This is causing senior managers to ask serious questions about what is being stored and why. Sadly, very few companies have much idea; meanwhile, those responsible for storage are simply weighed down by an increasing burden. Implementing an information lifecycle management (ILM) strategy at this time will not solve all your organisation's storage problems - but it could help you achieve significant business benefit.
ILM is a management approach aimed at tackling the storage ‘information overload' problem which has so far failed to live up to its potential. The key to its success is being able to automate identification of the most valuable information contained in company data at any given time so that relatively unimportant data can be automatically demoted to lower-cost, less accessible storage media and ultimately discarded. The insight obtained from more valuable information could lead to strategic business advantages over competitors, while storage access performance, cost and management benefits should also accrue.
But properly identifying value is hard. So ILM will remain more a goal than a reality for the foreseeable future. Despite this there have been significant developments, prompting major storage vendors to build ILM product portfolios addressing some aspects of the ‘information value' problem. Organisations applying ILM techniques can at least gain a handle on what information is being stored where - and from that go on to reduce storage costs and add business value.
Information Lifecycle Management provides an in-depth review of the ILM state of play. It describes why it has been so hard to implement, where it is today including the different vendor solutions currently available, and what you need to look for to meet your organisation's business needs. Most importantly, it describes some leading-edge vendor developments and storage standards work that is set to transform the ILM approach to electronic management of information in the near-term. The required starting point for those businesses serious about extracting information value from their storage mountain.