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Saturday, March 07, 2009
The volume of conversations in the blogosphere has risen sharply since President Obama signed his $787 billion stimulus package into law. Politicians, columnists, industry experts and everyday commentators are weighing in on the government's ambitious plans to jumpstart the economy and trim our staggering $1.3 trillion deficit.
According to a report by non-partisan think tank The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, massive upgrades to America's digital infrastructure could spur the most opportunities through major investments in broadband networks, health IT and the Smart Power Grid–all of which will have an enormous ripple effect on the need for data storage as the recession reverses.
How well prepared will you be to handle these pent-up storage demands? A recent blog by Hu Yoshida, CTO of Hitachi Data Systems, offered useful tips for surviving the recovery. His bottom line: plan now for the recovery by setting a strategy for where you need to be, not only to survive but to prosper with the recovery. I couldn't agree more, especially since there is no better time to wring out cost and complexity from your infrastructure and prepare for what's next.
For a great example of the crucial role storage will play in the recovery process, look no further than the $20 billion allocated to the digitization of medical records. This area holds great promise and huge implications for the storage industry. Sure, there's still a lot to be hammered out, including putting proper safeguards in place to protect patient privacy as well as developing standards to ensure that different recordkeeping systems are interoperable.
Nevertheless, the last thing we need is a bunch of isolated silos of medical data that can't talk to each other or be accessed by different physicians, hospitals and healthcare providers. For that reason, healthcare companies that embrace a unified data management strategy will be best positioned to create a centralized repository of patient data that can be optimized and repurposed easily, efficiently and cost effectively.
I recently spoke with Sharp HealthCare, the No. 1 healthcare provider in California as ranked by Modern Healthcare magazine. A longtime customer, I was pleased to hear how they're supporting a state-of-the-art Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS), which technology for capturing, storing and distributing medical images. Sharp does an excellent job of protecting 600 servers and more than 20 TBs of data, including a large percentage of computerized medical records.
This healthcare leader is looking into other wise investments, including deduplication for extended disk-based data retention. As a result, Sharp will continue to live up to its name, well prepared to cut through the wave of recovery without having to navigate uncharted waters. Do you know other companies that are ready for the ripple effect? How prepared are you?
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