Quick fixes top recession-hit storage agenda

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The deteriorating economic climate is causing IT storage managers to turn to quick fixes to do more with less, according to new research out today.

IDC's seventh annual Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) storage survey found the most popular ways of dealing with the downturn was to freeze new project spending or switch to lower-cost technology.

The 522 European storage decision makers surveyed also said they were looking to increase the numbers of approvals needed for spending decisions to curb spending during these tough times.

The top three strategies emerged in response to the future storage priorities of the survey participants, where they could name more than one area of focus.

Eric Sheppard, programme manager for IDC EMEA storage research, said: "It's this tactical, versus strategic, spending that means storage managers are keeping more of what they already have and buying more of it."

Improving storage performance and consolidating storage onto fewer systems were the third and fourth highest priorities in this year's survey.

"There's still massive growth of data, and new types of data like the storage systems designed to optimise business analytics results that's making cost optimisation technologies look attractive," explained Sheppard. "This includes the likes of deduplication and thin provisioning technologies as well."

Despite budgetary pressures, the survey also found that storage was far less likely to experience spending cuts during these difficult economic times than other technologies such as PCs, printers, servers, and networking equipment.

In fact, storage figured fifth in a list of seven hardware technologies, polling only 13 per cent among respondents as the second least likely to be subject to cuts, behind only voice over internet protocol (VoIP) spending.

Sheppard added: "Changing economic conditions and new technologies such as server and storage virtualisation are clearly altering the way European storage managers design and deploy their storage infrastructure.

"Our survey suggests that the current economic conditions will result in a short-term shift towards tactical spending on storage, while rising adoption of server virtualisation is driving new interest in advanced features provided by storage virtualisation offerings."

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.