We live in a customer centric marketing era. The customer’s need drives production and marketing. The producer must know what value the customer seeks in a product and the marketing efforts must show how the specific product delivers the value sought by the customer. If that does not happen, sales cannot happen.

But, enterprises embarking on a marketing agenda cannot ignore the needs of the business. Businesses need to “last” and they must be “lasting” (existing) to build on it. The same does not apply to technology. Technology must not be built to last. If technology were made permanent, the business will not “last” to build! It will lose its agility and responsiveness to the changing environment and will soon be overrun by competitors who are more up to the speed.

Let us evaluate the idea:

Traditional storage systems were built to last. First, there was a budget constraint that forced the issue of annual budget outlays for the storage project upfront. The budget was inelastic and fixed and large changes to the “system” under design were taboo. Second, change was considered undesirable as change would result in outages and loss to the business.

As a result, excess provisioning for storage and performance was the norm. The market was also happy to encourage this trend as the larger the provisioning the more the sales of infrastructure elements and software components.

Storage virtualization has brought in its wake operational efficiency. Apart from consolidation of scattered enterprise information, online remote storage has de-linked the need for physical IT infrastructure from business operations. The infrastructure and its maintenance are abstracted to the cloud vendor and change of physical components at the remote data center no longer creates disruptions in business operations at the level of the enterprise. The need for anticipating and provisioning for data growth has become redundant. Infrastructure can be obtained on demand and scalability is the expectation. Utilization of assets is optimum. Cutbacks in IT expertise no longer pinches as 24x7x365 professional support services are available at the click of a button.

To summarize, storage virtualization and the cloud have helped create “lasting” organizations that can build their business now supported by IT infrastructures that are flexible, scalable, highly available and constantly updated (changing).

So, are you building to “last” or “lasting” to build?