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Healthcare Seeks Storage Rx

Here's a tip for storage companies looking to tap into the lucrative healthcare field: Know your customer.

So says Robert Cecil, network director of radiology and cardiology for the Cleveland Clinic. He says storage companies are to blame for healthcare being a slow adopter of technology because they don't know how to meet healthcare's needs.

"People in storage are used to selling to IT groups," he says. "IT is about cost; they put the budget in and get it approved. The focus is on selling a box, not a solution. On the clinical side, some nasty questions come up, like 'If I buy this year, what will happen in three years?' In three years, I can't say 'All my RAID's obsolete, I have to replace it and can't afford it.' There's a big opportunity for somebody in the industry to sell a solution that will last for years and years."

Few in the industry dispute that opportunity: Market research firm Frost & Sullivan says storage revenue in healthcare hit $845 million in 2004 and projects it to reach more than $1.3 billion in 2008 (see Report: HIPAA Helps Storage Sales).

The Cleveland Clinic is a prime example of how healthcare storage needs are surging. Cecil says his storage requirements expand by 2 Tbytes per week, and his departments already have 300 Tbytes online.

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