CRN’s Joe Kovar looked at the latest IDC and vendor data on worldwide enterprise storage equipment sales and came to an interesting conclusion: “The heady days of enterprise storage growth are over. While the flash storage array part of the market is still seeing double-digit revenue growth, total storage sales growth seems to have plateaued, and the total industry is at risk of shrinking.”
We’re not in recession — the economy is still strong — so these kinds of sales results for storage hardware likely point to a broader market transformation. On the latest episode of the ActualTech Podcast: Growing Beyond the Data Center World, our CEO and co-founder, Ellen Rubin, dives deep into the causes of this transformation and explains how it’s changing the role of the CIO.
The market change that Ellen describes started nearly 20 years ago in the 2000s, during the infrastructure build-out to support internet-based commerce. That foundation paved the way later that decade for the emergence of the cloud, and technology leaders began to envision how they could run their businesses’ IT infrastructure in a fundamentally different way. They could see a day when they would no longer need to manage servers and networking themselves and could instead rely on hyperscale cloud providers. In this way, CIOs could move from a largely tactical role to one that is more strategic, adding value to the business instead of simply managing and deploying servers, storage and applications.
Read CEO Ellen Rubin’s blog on The Edge Revolution – Is This Cloud All Over Again?
The hype, of course, was way ahead of reality, and the 2012 dreams of moving everything to the cloud couldn’t be realized, despite massive improvements in the cloud’s robustness, security and reliability. But that frustration with the cloud — its inherent latency and unpredictable costs, in particular — led to the big change that’s occurring today: the rise of the edge. For many applications, compute and storage need to be close to the end user to provide performance. And when you combine the responsiveness of the edge with the raw power of the cloud, those CIO dreams of never having to touch or manage infrastructure again look a lot more realistic.
In fact, that’s exactly what ClearSky Data is doing for data storage. We leverage the edge and the cloud to provide a complete, high-performance storage service — from primary storage to backup and disaster recovery — that enables enterprise IT to let go of managing storage equipment without giving up control and visibility.
This massive transformation is changing the role of CIOs, because it enables them to dramatically reduce the cost and time it takes to manage their infrastructure. As a result they can focus on digital transformation and expanding their team’s skill set to take advantage of the explosion of new enterprise technologies and services to drive business value.
In the old, on-prem model of enterprise infrastructure, CIOs had a handful of vendors who supplied everything an enterprise needed. Today? It’s a totally different story. There are so many new vendors and technologies, that just determining which provide real value and which are merely hype requires specialized skills. In addition to the day-to-day task of keeping the infrastructure running, CIOs need to know how to choose and negotiate with multiple product and service providers to get the best deal and the most value. The job today is at least 50% business, and that’s a huge change over the past three to five years.
So give the podcast a listen. Ellen and the podcast’s host, James Green, pack a lot into 18 minutes. I think you’ll come away with a better understanding of the larger trends that are driving a massive transformation of enterprise infrastructure and the role of the CIO.
See for yourself how ClearSky can remove the headaches and cost of managing storage infrastructure, while providing the performance, visibility and control you need. Sign up for demo today!