Storage still a priority for IT despite economic problems


Paula Pollei, information systems manager at Materials Transportation Co. in Temple, Texas, said that the economic downturn hasn't affected funding for a document management project that she's undertaking. The company, which makes customized food-processing equipment and robotic systems for changing batteries in trucks and other vehicles, is installing the new system to help organize its vast collection of engineering plans and other records.

Materials Transportation has product diagrams that date as far back as its inception in 1946, and workers need to pull out the documents when customers call for help or replacement parts. "Everything's customized, so we have unique diagrams from every piece of equipment [we sell]," Pollei said. "We're going to computerize that."

But doing so requires a new storage system that will go well beyond the small, basic SAN that the company uses today, she said. Her mission at was to find product information and possible vendors for the storage piece of the project.

The economy also isn't affecting storage plans at Leprechaun LLC, according to Ann Jones, a network storage engineer at the Fort Worth, Texas-based provider of data management outsourcing services for Medicare Advantage insurance plans.

Jones said that because of new federal rules mandating additional audits of health care records management practices, Leprechaun's business -- and its IT needs -- are increasing despite the gloomy economic conditions. "We're getting ready to buy new storage and new backup [technology]," she said. "We have [data] that's coming online faster than we can keep up with it."