Storage managers can reach for their wallets again


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The purchasing picture for storage managers is a good news/bad news story: budgets are no longer in the negative column, but they're not rising much either.

Storage managers may be able to loosen their belts a notch in 2010, but the era of storage budget belt-tightening is hardly over. Storage budgets, as reported by the 697 respondents to the Storage magazine/SearchStorage.com bi-annual Storage Purchasing Intentions survey, didn't budge into positive territory, but avoided the negative to stay flat compared with 2009. Given the recent context, that's vaguely encouraging news as we saw year-over-year budgets go negative last year on both the spring (-1.9%) and fall (-0.4%) editions of the survey.

Smaller companies appear to be bearing the brunt of the still uneasy economy more than their big brethren. At companies with revenue less than $100 million, budgets are down 0.8% compared with last year. For medium-sized and large companies, the picture is considerably brighter; storage budgets should rise 1.3% at medium-sized firms and 1.9% at companies with revenue in excess of $1 billion.

With regard to sheer dollar amounts, the average storage budget clocked in at $2.8 million, just a hair shy of the $2.9 million recorded on both of our 2009 surveys. And as in previous years, that relatively high average was skewed by some pretty hefty budgets at the top end; of all reporting companies, 57% of respondents noted that their storage budgets

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were less than $1 million for 2010.

Whether reduced or slightly increased, storage budgets will be allocated much as they have been in previous years, with the biggest chunk -- 39% -- earmarked for disk hardware.

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 storage product categories. This edition had 697 qualified respondents across a broad spectrum of industries, with the average company size measured as having revenue of $1.4 billion.

This was first published in May 2010

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