Friday, January 12, 2007

Storage vendors and ECM

I was told recently that it is not uncommon in enterprises to see 7-10% growth in structured data, and 200% growth in unstructured data. Though I don't actually believe this, I think the sentiment is probably correct and that for sure in most instances unstructured data is growing at an order of magnitude plus, that of structured.

Assuming this to be the case then, why is it that storage vendors have little to say about this?
Even EMC who bought Documentum a few years back still have a very fuzzy and muddled story around ILM (information lifecycle management) and as for NetApp, Hitachi, HP etc they don't really have much of a story at all.

Surely that has to change, for at the moment if you look at a typical ECM stack the layer that has the least lock in is the storage layer. Indeed it is not uncommon for buyers to demand that the new ECM platform architecture be storage agnostic. A move I applaud, but potentially bad news for storage vendors.

Surely at least one of the storage vendors could start to think about this intelligently, and come up with a half decent story as to the added value they might bring to the archive, retention management aspects of unstructured data, with full acknowledgement to the ECM management layers above?

It will be no big surprise if someone like HP buys and ECM vendor - the bigger surprise will be if a more sophisticated and useful discussion around the full lifecycle of a document starts to emerge.

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