The rising tide of the storage industry spotlights storage professionals in the enterprise. Whenever a particular area receives such attention, those involved inevitably find themselves with new and creative titles. If you're cynical, you might suspect that the new titles are created to ensure that storage professionals won't find their positions listed on a salary survey. If you're generous, you might attribute the title proliferation that I think we're about to see to the increasing complexity of the storage that storage professionals must manage and the increasing importance of this market segment in the IT industry in general.

I've mused about the titles that you might expect to see. I'm sure that we'll see Network Storage Architect, which is analogous to Network or Systems Architect. The title certainly makes sense, given that storage networks are most often going to be implemented as separate networked systems. Certainly, we'll see Storage Manager or Administrator, analogous to Systems Administrator and Storage Capacity Planners. Who else would you call when your disks go down? Because vast monies will be spent on storage systems, we'll clearly need executive titles to go along with those budgets. If data becomes a dial tone, we might see Chief Data Officer or Chief Storage Officer. Perhaps someone out there already holds such a title.

Do specific storage titles mean that those who hold them will make more money? That depends upon how hard it is for other companies to find people with the necessary qualifications. When companies want to reward people in ways that don't require money, they often give people titles. Somewhere down the line, title holders will be able to cash in the titles for something of value.

The trends make it pretty clear that storage professionals will be more in demand than general IT professionals—and that the former will be harder to find. So—if your employer offers you a title such as Storage Resource Manager, perhaps you should smile and accept.

If you have a storage-related title, I'd like to know what the title is, how you got it, and what storage you manage.

From your Storage Journalist . . .