Canadian IT execs ‘not impressed’ by info mgt tools

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Nearly half of Canadian IT decision makers feel the proliferation of information management tools is making handling data more complex, according to a recent survey.

Commissioned by security products vendor, Symantec Corp. the poll of 500 executives, managers and architects in the U.S., Canada and Asia Pacific Region, revealed “universal concern” about the increasing data management burden on IT staff, according to Matt Fairbanks, senior director, product marketing, Symantec.

Key factors identified by Canadian respondents as contributing to data centre complexity include the growth in number of management tools (49 per cent) and the proliferation of applications (41 per cent).

These factors are also increasing the burden on IT staff, said Fairbanks.

He said depleting IT budgets combined with massive data growth is “forcing organizations to train [fewer] staff on a growing number of software [products].” Around 48 per cent of Canadian IT managers say “capacity management” is a key IT storage driver.

Ninety-two per cent of those surveyed also ranked “database applications” as the most critical software product category.

Forty per cent of the respondents say maintaining application availability is a top priority.

Asked what is the “best course of action” to ensure application availability most cited data backup (76 per cent), and patch management (62 per cent).

Fifty six per cent said consolidation of management tools is a procedure they will implement in the near future.

Canadian managers are also realizing that service oriented architecture (SOA) can help relieve data centre complexity.

Currently, 27 per cent of organizations have applications dedicated to SOA, and 56 per cent are moving towards SOA adoption.

The issue of understaffed IT teams with tougher and wider mandates is a serious one, according to one Canadian analyst.

Apart from making sure operational systems and networks are in order, IT personnel today are also tasked with looking after data recovery, regulatory compliance issues, and even physical security of facilities, noted Vince Londini, research analyst, Info-Tech research Group Inc., in London, Ont.

Managing data infrastructure and protecting data are two major pain points in the industry that have spawned a “seemingly contradictory trend of consolidation and decentralization,” the Info-Tech analyst said.

Companies, he said, are looking to centralize the storage of data into a single pool; but once data is brought under one roof, there’s a move towards decentralizing data replication.

“Organizations want to be able to parcel off copies of data, databases, operating systems and applications to their remote branches,” said Londini.

He also said vendors are developing tools that enable what is called “single-pane-of-glass management.”

Systems offering this capability, allow IT managers to review vital systems statistics and network traffic from one central monitor. The tool also enables operators to control the network remotely.

Londini said leading vendors of such products include Hewlett Packard, IBM and Micorosft.

He said VMWare is popular for its virtualization tools, while Symantec and EMC dominate the data protection market.

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