There is no question that the current economic uncertainty will continue to impact organizations on a global scale for some time to come and every organization is taking a much harder look at their IT budgets for 2009. Gartner notes that the projected IT budgets in 2009 will increase a meager 2.3 percent, down from the earlier projection of 5.8 while IDC has slashed how much it forecasts US IT budgets to grow to below 1% growth for 2009. But just because IT budgets for 2009 are getting cut does not mean the government is going to cut companies any slack in regards to meeting new compliance requests or giving them more time to satisfy them.
Not too long ago, we can recall checking our voice messages and finding 30 to 50 messages in our respective inboxes every day. We would listen to them and then delete some or all of them, making notes along the way until we reached the end of the mailbox. While some of the messages were irrelevant, some were very important in that they conveyed corporate direction or pseudo-contractual agreements. Given that same scenario today in the financial industry, companies need to exercise extra caution as regulatory agencies and courts heighten requirements for companies to make documents of any type available, including audio recordings (telephone messages, voice mail, etc.).
As small and midsize businesses (SMBs) take a look at the worsening economic crisis and begin to understand how it impacts them, reality is starting to set in. A recent survey reports that nearly 80 percent of SMBs are not convinced the U.S. government’s $700 billion financial bailout will help them. Furthermore, SMBs’ purchasing power is being drastically altered, which will undoubtedly cause ripple effects throughout the economy. Case in point, the reluctance and abrupt spending halt of SMBs has impacted SAP — causing SAP’s third-quarter earnings to tank. This has already prompted SAP to implement financial help and discounts on its software that is explicitly intended for SMBs.
Within the Enforcement Manual of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Division of Enforcement, there exists a definition of the document types for which an officer might deem relevant and issue a subpoena. Though the definition reads “…messages of any type, telephone messages, voice mails…or otherwise, which can be retrieved, obtained, manipulated, or translated”, most companies focus on the “messages of any type” component of that definition. When they do, they put audio recordings such as phone and voice messages on the backburner as there is no efficient way to handle them. But having to deal with audio content from phone systems, VoIP, call desks, trading desks, etc., is entering the mainstream of eDiscovery.
Even in these trying times aggressive companies are looking to the future. Companies continue to grow organically through mergers, acquisitions or takeovers. While the latter might be more the norm these days, the need for a company to keep IT storage management costs under control remains constant. Growth creates problems in the form of logistics, energy and maintenance concerns as well as with the physical computing and storage resources. Companies lacking the infrastructure to support these increases in operational demands can quickly squash any growth plans.
The statement that “data growth is continuing at an exponential rate” rarely ever conveys the exact location of the data that is growing so fast. But it just so happens that a consensus of industry analysts agree the majority of this rapidly growing pool of corporate data (up to 60 percent) now resides at remote corporate offices. While more companies now recognize that the data created and stored at remote sites is vital to their ongoing success, protecting it presents a unique set of challenges. Of these challenges, moving backup data over corporate WANs is one of greatest.
Today’s financial crisis is not the first one to occur and likely will not be the last. However like previous stock market crashes, such as in 1929, we can expect to see new legislation take effect. Out of the crash of 1929 came the passage of the Securities Act in 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act in 1934 which ultimately resulted in the establishment of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 1934. Since then, the SEC has been actively involved in making changes of the financial regulatory system anytime financial crisis occur and it is safe to say this one will be no exception.
There is no question that the recent economic uncertainty will impact organizations on a global scale. Already continents and countries as well as individual companies are being affected daily. Gartner notes that no one is immune with the United States and Western Europe being affected the worse. Examples include: Europe recently put $2.3 trillion on the line to protect the continent’s banks in a unified response to the global financial crisis; Europe’s largest economy, Germany, is on the edge of recession and poised to come to a halt next year; and, venture capital firms are issuing strict advisories for startups while established companies are trimming expenses.
Under the Federal Records Act each federal agency, with help from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), is required to maintain records that document their organization, functions, policies and activities. It is explicitly noted that Federal records should not be destroyed except when in accordance with the procedures described in Chapter 33 of Title 44, United States Code. Recently, in the Washington Post, we find out that not only does the White House lack a comprehensive email archiving solution but past solutions have been riddled with numerous record-keeping problems:
New REO Compass Removes the Need for ‘Rip-and-Replace’ in the Enterprise ROBO Data Protection Equation
Too often one of the requirements in the enterprise data protection equation for corporate remote and branch offices (ROBOs) is “rip-and-replace.” While this approach is fine for dealing with aging hardware and software, it ignores the majority of scenarios where ROBOs have hardware or software that they can’t afford to replace but are being asked to rip out anyway in favor of OEMs’ latest solution. ROBOs are just as apt to want a “bolt-on” solution that enables adding new technology to their environment while continuing to use what’s already in place. The latter scenario is what Overland Storage’s announcement of its REO Compass is designed to provide.