As customers’ data volumes expand rapidly, storage as a service is a great way to help customers increase agility and control rising costs. But midsize customers that are newer to pay-as-you go models may have questions to ask prospective managed storage service providers.
1. How can consumption-based pricing save us money? Businesses can avoid the heavy lift of CapEx purchasing and maintaining on-premises storage, which is even more important in a volatile economy. Consumption-based pricing improves cash flow and eliminates the need to buy (and monitor) reserve storage capacity. Instead, businesses they can flex usage up and down as their data needs change on an annual basis.
The savings can be substantial. For example, with the combination of pay-per-use consumption and the adoption of managed services, businesses could experience a benefit of $25 million over five years versus a cost of $8 million, resulting in a net present value (NPV) of $17 million and an ROI of 214%, according to a Forrester Total Economic Impact (TEI) study of managed services from Hitachi Vantara.
2. How can we protect our investment in our existing storage systems? Most businesses have a considerable investment in on-premises storage systems and as they evolve to a service model, they should be able to choose the right mix cloud and on-premises storage, all with unified management. With Hitachi's Virual Storage as a Service, they can evolve at their own pace.
3. Does the service deliver 100% data availability? No business can afford downtime when it comes to accessing their data. If customers experience a disaster or ransomware attack, how quickly can they resume normal business operations? How frequently will their backups be done based on their risk tolerance for losing data without without seriously damaging their business? Did you know Hitachi Vantara offers a 100% data availability guarantee for its VSP storage?.
4. Can the managed service support the full range of customer storage needs? Does your managed storage service offer a range of size and performance level guarantees, ranging from demanding AI and machine learning workloads to workhorse activities like file sharing and snapshots? Do you offer a variety of storage types, including file, block and object storage, to accomodate different application use cases?
5. How does the service handle customers’ different security and compliance needs? Sensitive data, such as customer and financial data, employee information, and intellectual property, must be safely stored whether on premises or in the cloud. But data privacy regulations can dictate where the data can be stored, how much privacy needs to be guaranteed, retention policies, and what controls are required. Customers with stringent compliance requirements may perceive storage as a service as a risk that needs to be managed, so be prepared to address their concerns.
6. What is your business reputation? Prospective customers won’t want to take chances with their valuable data, and they will look for a provider that has a history of business performance and technical excellence. Can you provide specific details about the solutions that are at the heart of your storage service? Is your business certified or credentialed in the storage solutions it sells?
7. How are storage resources managed? Do customers have a choice of a self-managed or fully managed service? Given many businesses’ increasingly limited IT staffing and resources, they may want to fully offload the day to day work of storage management to your team. How do you divide the tasks and responsibilities between your operations team and the customer?
Hitachi Virtual Storage as a Service
Hitachi Virtual Storage as a Service is designed to meet the needs of mid-market businesses and is delivered exclusively by partners at a competitive price point. Virtual Storage as a Service can be delivered as a managed service either on-premises or co-located. New customers can be up and running quickly. And for predictable costs and easy budgeting, customers and partners can chose Hitachi EverFlex for a flexible pay-per-consumption model.
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