Storage spending currently accounts for 40%-60% of all IT expenditures, so now is the time for IT executives to develop an encompassing strategy to manage costs, reduce risk and where possible create a competitive advantage for their business through the thoughtful introduction of appropriate technologies, process, policies, and people around storage. 

IT executives need to work with a group that can map from business strategy to infrastructure and operations covering cost models, architecture, operations and metrics, forecasting, along with integration and configuration of the system. No vendor or VAR can provide this service in an independent fashion; their entire business model is predicated on selling hardware and/or software. There is a small handful of such emerging companies who are building a business on consulting to companies to maximize their storage environments. More so than any other time in the storage industry, their time has come.