Whats Driving Spending
Whether the times are good or bad, the accumulation of data that must be stored continues without letup. "Storage keeps growing exponentially. We're out of space and out of power," Rosen said. "I don't have the space to keep adding Fibre Channel drives to our SAN."IDC's Minton agreed that the proliferation of data will drive investment not only in storage but in other data center technologies, as well. "There is a massive increase in the amount of information that is flowing back and forth, so companies are spending on data center consolidation, virtualization, upgrades to their network equipment and software that allows them to better manage their storage," Minton said. "Companies are rolling out smart phones, and they are flowing the data back into their networks. There is a lot of value in this information, so people are spending on data mining and business intelligence tools." Forrester's Bartels said enterprise software spending is remaining strong. "We're still seeing software investment growing at above-average rates. It's seen as investment that helps save money elsewhere. It's less PC-type software and more service-oriented architectures, ERP, CRM and other big applications like supply-chain management, product lifecycle management, business intelligence, security, content management and collaboration tools," Bartels said. Meanwhile, he noted, hardware spending remains stuck in low gear. "We're seeing weakness in PCs and servers-they have been down in 2008 and will probably remain very weak. CIOs are saying they can run with what they have a bit longer," said Bartels.
Rosen is looking at commercial software, including hierarchical storage management systems, to mitigate the problem and maximize storage utilization.