Let’s be real. Storage is a utilitarian commodity. It’s not the sexy new technology everyone likes to create overblown buzzwords for. Storage is kind of like socks – we can never have enough, somehow they magically disappear right after buying new ones, and they VASTLY range in quality.
I had an opportunity to sit down with JP Petty of Pure Storage, and one of the things that struck a chord (other than our mutual musical talents, of course) was the idea of giving the customer back control of their budget.
Admittedly, at first, I wanted to roll my eyes a bit at the comment. ‘The customer has always had control. I lost plenty of deals in the past due to loss of budget.’
Arguably this statement is true, but when I thought about it, just because you do budgets every year doesn’t mean you have control over your money. It’s like setting aside money for clothes and not getting to pick the socks you want.
This budget control dilemma is incredibly real for necessities such as telecom or storage. The vendors have a ton of power here. It is a concept that we’re all familiar with. In our personal lives, we pay outrageous phone and internet bills because we have to have it to work (and live, honestly) so those providers can set their premium, and we will cough up the cash.
We talk a lot about spending money in tech, but money isn’t the only budgetary aspect. Time is a significant aspect of your budget too, and not just because you’re paying your people for their hours. Time is a resource just like any other, albeit one that we don’t typically include in our budgets on a year-over-year basis. If you do not include the time your employees spend on the implementation and upkeep of infrastructure, you are only capturing half of the cost. It’s like only wearing one sock.
Amplifying Your Business
In my last article, I emphasized taking control of your storage strategy with Pure-as-a-Service, but after talking with JP, I realized it’s more than that. It’s about turning storage into a business amplifier and not a cost center. It’s about managing risk. It’s about having a purpose-built scalable business continuity (BC) / Disaster Recovery (DR) plan without overtaxing your team even further.
Having something like Pure-as-a-Service can significantly increase not only your financial budget but your time budget as well. Having a service that addresses both the skills and time gaps is crucial, especially nowadays. If you can save time, you’re saving money – and keeping your employees happier in the process. Storage-on-demand gives you back control of your budget and allows you to reinvest those resources into business drivers.
Likewise, storage-on-demand can amplify the security aspects of your organization. When you are required to schedule downtime on systems to apply security patches, you are spending money and time to keep people safe. If either of those resources is in short supply, the patching process is usually forgotten or delayed. Should a breach happen, or should ransomware encrypt your files and demand a payment, the resources you didn’t have before are now ever more constrained.
With Pure-as-a-Service, the patching headaches are taken care of for you. Pure Storage schedules the right time to update your infrastructure and keeps it operational and available. You never have to worry about a missed change window or a bad patch rollback creating a situation in the future where you could find yourself caught out in the cold in nothing but a pair of socks.
Making Your Money Work for You
If we continually buy cheap, threadbare socks, our shoes pay for it. We are losing one asset because we’re trying to save money in the wrong place. If we look at the socks as an investment rather than an afterthought, we could save a whole lot of money on shoes. Realizing that every piece of the infrastructure has an important weight to carry means allocating resources effectively where they are needed.
So, while they might not be the sexiest part of the ensemble, they can be the difference between having to replace your sneakers over and over and splurging on those boots you’ve had your eye on for a year. Making sure your storage systems are equally taken care of means that you can spend time and money in other places, keep your users and customers happier, and spend less time worrying about your storage.