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Power to Whom?

5:50 PM -- Would you trust your end-users to perform their own backups? These, after all, are the same people who can't get around to clearing their email inboxes, and are often a bigger security threat to your business than the latest sex-starved virus writer.

But one vendor I spoke to this week said that many firms, particularly in the SMB space, are giving their end-users a greater degree of control over backups in an attempt to cut down on IT support costs. Steve Siegel, vice president of marketing and product management at backup specialist Arsenal Digital, told me that around 75 percent of firms using the vendor's technology are now letting end-users push their own backup buttons. (See Arsenal Announces Backup .)

Of course, IT typically retains control of key processes such as daily backups, but the end-users can backup and retrieve their own data whenever they feel like it.

There are two ways of looking at this -- on the one hand, end-users, if they are sufficiently tech savvy, could certainly ease the strain on IT helpdesks. On the other, is it reasonable to expect Joe Schmo to suddenly take responsibility for his own IT processes?

Last week, at the StorageDecisions show in Boston, Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Steve Duplessie explained there is precious little desire on the part of non-ITers to get involved in the world of technology. Forcing non-techies to know about NetBackup, he explained, is not going to help them meet girls or hit a slider. (Incidentally, if there is anyone out there whose love-life was revolutionized by Veritas, then please tell me your story.)

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