Brighter outlook for storage budgets


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Spending is slowly picking up again, but storage managers are cautious and looking for technologies that can help them use their systems more efficiently.

The last time we reported the results of our biannual Storage magazine/SearchStorage.com Purchasing Intentions survey we suggested that storage managers could finally exhale after a year of nail-biting suspense over whether storage budgets would continue to fall. Last year's results were slightly encouraging, and the latest survey indicates the budget situation has improved once again. We're not saying storage managers are flush with funds, but the days of beating about the sofa cushions for loose change seem to be over.

The average storage budget clocked in at a healthy $3.1 million; when compared to 2009, our average respondent storage budget grew by a modest 0.6%. Enterprise-sized companies are seeing the largest boost with an average 2.5% increase, followed by midsized companies with 1.6%. But times are still pretty tough for smaller companies as they reported a -0.6% change in their budgets. These numbers hardly compare with those from four years ago when overall budgets grew by 5.2%, but they're still promising considering recent dreary results.

Twenty percent of those surveyed said price is the main factor when selecting a primary disk vendor. Although not the top criteria (features was No. 1 at 30%), that's the highest ranking we've ever seen for price. For smaller companies,

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price was the No. 1 factor for the first time. All in all, it looks like 2010 has been a year of struggle for smaller businesses, while much of the storage action seems to be happening midmarket, with midsized companies looking to add even more new disk capacity than anticipated last spring.

About the survey

The Storage magazine/SearchStorage.com Purchasing Intentions survey is fielded twice a year; this is the eighth year the survey has been conducted. Storage magazine subscribers and SearchStorage.com members are invited to participate in the survey, which gathers information related to storage managers' purchasing plans for a variety of data storage product categories. This edition had 609 qualified respondents across a broad spectrum of industries, with the average company size measured as having revenue of $1.3 billion.

This was first published in October 2010

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