Why Storage-as-a-Service is a great way forward for SMEs

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Data has gone from being a useful business tool to a highly valuable balance sheet asset. Businesses that can manage data effectively can achieve a strong competitive advantage by re-purposing and applying business analytics for insights and new digital applications. However, size, ever-increasing complexity of data type, performance requirements, security protocols, and proximity to various tools and compute platforms means that on-premise storage options are rarely up to the task.

Inflexible and mission-specific storage designs and purchases interfere with an organisation’s ability to ingest and consolidate data, then make it available to users for re-purposing and timely adaptation. The best solution is subscription-based data Storage-as-a-Service (STaaS) across a number of protocols and service levels.

Increased flexibility

It’s very difficult for architects to design around a certain set of applications and business requirements with an optimised budget, and then add or re-design and adapt for new workloads and platforms without blowing out costs and implementation timeframes. STaaS is a good option for companies that need a storage platform that lets them accommodate different capacity, data types, connectivity and service levels, and the ability to use any of these options for short- and longer-term projects without operational and cost penalties.

Many organisations prefer to avoid the traditional three- to five-year capacity planning, budgeting, procurement, implementation and change management process that on-premise storage needs. This is especially true when it comes to the desire to move or replicate workloads into the cloud or managed service provider. Nobody gets it right without massively over-designing and over-spending.

Cost savings

STaaS is attractive for small and medium-sized businesses that don’t have the resources required to maintain on-premise storage infrastructure. It can be procured for a smaller size on-premise solution or through one of the excellent service providers we have in Australia with zero degradation in service levels or flexibility. It also provides significant benefits for larger organisations that deal with massive amounts of data regularly and have a large number of data-dependent projects with their own requirements that are often extracting or re-purposing data from other applications.

These benefits include cost savings from data deduplication and improved disaster recovery as you only pay for unique data once. STaaS offers all the key benefits of any as-a-service model, including flexibility, security, and a shifting of key responsibilities to the service provider or to Pure Storage for example. IT staff members are freed up to focus on higher-value activities and the storage capacity and performance can be scaled up and down as needed without operational risk and exponential cost.

Getting value from your data

Importantly, using a STaaS model lets businesses get real value from their data because it is more reliable and flexible than on-premise or cloud-only approaches.

STaaS eliminates a great deal of the complexity around data storage and reduces friction, cost, and complexity associated with sharing data across the enterprise. Given the pivotal role data plays in nearly every business application in the digital era, the value of this can’t be overstated. When decision-making is driven by data, planning is easier and more accurate, and organisations can pursue innovation and growth opportunities with confidence.

As data continues to get even bigger and more complex, organisations may have to revisit their whole data storage approach. Remaining tethered to a set of different architected solutions that can’t accommodate flexibility and scalability could prevent organisations from achieving digital transformation objectives and using their data to compete effectively. Moving to STaaS can help overcome these barriers and unleash the power of data for smart organisations.

Michael Alp, Vice President – Australia and New Zealand, Pure Storage