The ILM honeymoon is over due to broken promises by vendors

Standards still llacking for processes and technology

The Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) honeymoon is over as customers realize it is not the holy grail vendors promised it would be.

Paul Shaw, ILM business development manager at Hewlett Packard (HP) said ILM uptake has been slow.

"Certainly slower than the market expected," he said.

The reticence to adopt ILM is due in part to the lack of industry standardization for both processes and technology.

"There is lots of talk in the industry around governance, compliance, legislation [and] the need for data management frameworks, but best practice details have yet to emerge," Shaw said.

The lack of industry standardization has meant ILM innovators such as HP have had to develop frameworks of their own

"At HP we've actually taken some of the features of ITIL around process maturity. And we're using ITIL to build customers a data optimization scorecard," he said.

HP hopes to jumpstart market adoption of ILM practices with these frameworks.

Shaw said bodies like the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and the federal government do not have frameworks.

However, he said there are frameworks using the Storage Networking and Industry Association [SNIA] and ITIL-based best practices that help control the issues at the storage and data layer.

"There are some real benefits that can be achieved," Shaw added.

Another reason ILM take-up has been slower than expected is that organizations often focus too intently on technology.

"I'm not convinced that customers truly understand the nature of the business problem when they implement a technology solution," he said.

"There's a disconnect between what the technology can offer and what the business needs, so ILM is at risk of having a black cloud following it because customers are having a negative experience."

HP, on the other hand, is much more focused on processes and services than technology solutions.

"Some of the services out there are focused on giving you a bit of an understanding and then moving straight on to the technology solution," Shaw said.

"But our focus is on understanding not just your data, but also your infrastructure, your applications and most importantly your business requirements."

HP's ILM marketing specialist, Joseph Byrnes, said before adopting technology solutions, executives must gain a thorough understanding of their business needs.

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