Stress on an organisation’s storage resource can come from the growth of data associated with existing applications, new data types that are being introduced or from a new application deployment that is being planned.
In a recent survey of 300 organisations of all sizes across Australia, IDC found that e-mail growth was the primary reason for additional investment in storage capacity. This was particularly the case for small organisations. The growth in e-mail and the need for a long-term storage and management policy is a major challenge to many organisations today.
File and print applications, database capacity growth, and networking for medium and small organisations were placing significant pressure on many existing storage resources. Data warehouses and new digitised data are also adding to the pressure, depending on the market or industry and the applications that are used.
As the amount of data that needs to be held and managed grows, the share of an organisation’s budget allocated to storage (excluding internal staff costs) is expected to increase in proportion, sometimes more. This increase is likely to become particularly acute as legislative requirements make it mandatory to maintain critical data for extended periods of time.
IT budgets increase
IDC’s recent survey in Australia found respondents were generally optimistic and expected their total IT budgets to increase during the next 12 months.
Overall, 60 per cent of respondents expected their IT budget to increase compared with 27 per cent that expected their IT budgets to stay the same and only 13 per cent that expected their IT budget to decrease. Some organisations were quite optimistic, 12 per cent expected their IT budget to increase by more than 10 per cent, and one third of survey respondents expected their IT budgets to increase by 5 to 10 per cent over the previous year.
Spending for new storage equipment
The pressure to spend more on storage equipment is significant. Of the survey sample, 57 per cent indicated they expected their storage capital budget to increase during the next 12 months. This compares with 34 per cent that expected their storage capital budget to remain the same and 9 per cent that expected their storage capital budget to decrease.
Of the respondents, 7 per cent expected their storage capital budget to increase by more than 15 per cent over the previous year, 2 per cent expected a strong increase of 10 to 15 per cent and 31 per cent of the survey respondents expected an increase of 5 to 10 per cent over the previous year.
Storage expense budgets
Similar results were indicated by survey respondents in relation to their storage expense budget. This relates to the cost of day-to-day operations. Nine per cent expected their storage expense budgets would increase strongly, by more than 15 per cent over the previous 12 months; 2 per cent expected their storage expense budgets to increase by 10 to 15 per cent and 31 per cent of survey respondents expected their storage expense budget to increase by to 10 per cent over the previous year.
However, not all organisations expected their storage expense budgets to grow; 36 per cent of survey respondents expected their storage expense budget to remain the same as the previous year, and 9 per cent that expected it to decrease.
Managing the total storage capacity
The management of the storage systems, the networks and the infrastructure as well as the data that is stored on the various devices is becoming a critical issue for many organisations. Not surprisingly, IDC found that new investments in storage software was the number 2 priority for organisations in the next 12 months, after buying more storage hardware.
The establishment of a network storage infrastructure and suitable storage software investments may well provide the only answer to the real challenge facing many organisations, the very rapid growth in the amount of data that has to be managed. It is far better to start early than to be overwhelmed with an impossible situation. Consequently, IDC expects to see an increased interest in building network storage solutions and an upsurge of interest in storage software in 2004. w
Graham Penn is director, storage research, Asia/Pacific, IDC