Is the Peter Principle killing your storage strategy?

Storage hardware about to fall off a cliff

Posted on Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Despite the obvious benefits of virtualized infrastructure, many businesses are choosing to skip on-site deployments in favour of cloud services. In some cases this is certainly the right choice – but failing to consider all available options will limit the scope of your digital transformation efforts.

Worse still, they may find it impossible to create sustainable value from their big data capabilities.

Limited by culture

The technology to succeed with big data and digital transformation already exists – just look at the performance of Google, Netflix and Amazon. But not every business has the same culture, relentlessly focused on using data and analytics to improve every process.

The current state of affairs is similar to “The Peter Principle”, a management theory published by Laurence J Peter in 1969. The Principle condenses down to a single observation; anything that works will be used in progressively more challenging applications until it fails.

Although the Peter Principle is usually applied to management and employees, it also has relevance to your storage and infrastructure strategy. In the current operating environment, storage is often retired before it no longer works, replaced according to the vendor’s refresh cycle.

Missing the mark. Twice.

A cloud-first strategy insists that outgoing hardware is replaced with a hosted alternative – and typically little more than an off-site replica of the existing set-up. Which defeats your digital transformation efforts.

The Peter Principle also reveals how your current storage strategy may be falling short. Replacing hardware before it fails to deliver is a wasted opportunity. With a third party maintenance contract, those systems can be kept in place for another three to five years for instance.

Alternatively you can apply transformative thinking to the data storage challenge, redeploying post warranty hardware as part of a software defined platform. This not only keeps arrays in operation for longer, but gives you an infrastructure that natively supports your digital transformation goals.

Next steps

To learn more about your storage options and how your existing assets can help you deliver digital transformation, please get in touch.

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