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Information Lifecycle Management

Cover for Information Lifecycle Management

Date:
By: Peter Williams

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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.

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