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Gartner Says Companies Should Implement Information Access Technologies, Rather Than Buying More Storage, to Manage Old Corporate Data


Organizations that keep all their information because of the threat of litigation and regulatory action, and the fear of losing something that might eventually prove valuable will significantly overspend on storage, according to Gartner Inc. Many CIOs are justifying this approach on the basis that storage is cheap and getting cheaper, but Gartner analysts said CIOs should consider other approaches.

“The current explosion of information is outpacing the decline in storage prices even before the resource costs for maintaining data are taken into account,” said Whit Andrews, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “This makes it a very good time for enterprises to streamline and modernize their information and access systems by identifying redundant information and eliminating applications retained to handle this.”

Information access technologies can help organizations reduce the amount of data they hold in both primary and secondary storage, as well as helping them to identify information kept in primary storage that can safely be moved to secondary storage. Information access technologies can provide a shaft through which to view information that no longer has value, as well as a mechanism for extracting it.

Gartner acknowledged the fact that the cost of information access technology itself is not inconsequential. “License costs for mature, reliable products range from $10,000 for small deployments to $3 million or more for advanced applications, and there are annual maintenance fees of about 18 percent of the sum initially paid for the license,” Mr. Andrews said. “However, many enterprises will use an already-installed search platform for the purpose of cleaning up legacy information, and benefits will still accrue if they have to buy new information access technology.”

Interest in the area of content valuation is growing, and Gartner has established methods for valuing content. These include examining a range of different variables, including authorship authority, usage patterns, nature of content and business purpose.

“With information access technology, companies that previously made retention decisions based on intuitive judgments about what was important can now designate criticality and relevance based on more-advanced approaches for measuring the value of content,” said Mr. Andrews. “These improved judgments are extremely valuable for shared storage and could also be useful for personal storage (on laptop and desktop PCs).”

Mr. Andrews will provide additional analysis of the future of enterprise search and information management at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2008, to be held October 12 through 16, at the Walt Disney World Dolphin and Swan in Orlando, Florida. Gartner Symposium/ITxpo is the industry’s largest and most strategic conference for senior IT and business professionals. More than 6,000 senior business and IT strategists from virtually all major industries will gather in Orlando to gain the latest advice on the biggest challenge: driving profits and business performance with IT. Gartner’s annual Symposium/ITxpo events are key components of attendees’ annual planning efforts. They rely on Gartner Symposium/ITxpo to gain insight into how their organizations can use technology to address business challenges and improve operational efficiency. For more information, please visit

Additional information is available in the Gartner report “Too Much, Too Old: Information Access Technology Enables Valuation and Reduction of Legacy Data.” The report is available on Gartner’s Web site at

About Gartner:
Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company. Gartner delivers the technology-related insight necessary for its clients to make the right decisions, every day. From CIOs and senior IT leaders in corporations and government agencies, to business leaders in high-tech and telecom enterprises and professional services firms, to technology investors, Gartner is the indispensable partner to 60,000 clients in 10,000 distinct organizations. Through the resources of Gartner Research, Gartner Consulting and Gartner Events, Gartner works with every client to research, analyze and interpret the business of IT within the context of their individual role. Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.A., and has 4,000 associates, including 1,200 research analysts and consultants in 80 countries. For more information, visit


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