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Storage Investments Remain Resilient; Virtualization a Top Trend For 2009
A new study covering planned expenditures across 26 technology categories including hardware, software and services, shows storage as the only category poised for overall growth in 2009. In addition, virtualization emerged as the key trend impacting the industry, as organizations focus on achieving IT goals through squeezing efficiencies from reduced budgets.

The survey, conducted among 450 IT professionals in the U.S. and UK was a collaborative effort between Millward Brown, Research International, and Lightspeed Research to leverage the perspectives of LinkedIn members via the LinkedIn Research Network.

While overall spending on Storage was only expected to increase by a marginal amount (less then 1%), this is in stark contrast to other hardware categories which showed declines between 2-3%.

Steve Ingledew, Managing Director of Millward Brown's Technology Practice observed, "In times of recession, there is a heightened need to protect what you have and in many ways, storage is to technology what insurance is to financial services; with data increasing exponentially and with the appetite for risk low, this is an area in which you simply don't want to compromise."

When asked about the key challenges facing them in the coming year, technology decision makers cited "meeting the same or similar objectives with lower IT budgets," with 55% and 63% of mid-market and enterprise decision makers respectively stating this. To address these challenges, some 84% of enterprise and 77% of mid-market organizations stated the most important area requiring support from Technology providers was "achieving cost efficiencies from our existing IT environment."

"With this focus on achieving cost efficiencies, it's perhaps not surprising that virtualization dominates buyers thinking as the top trend impacting the technology industry over the next 5 years, with 69% of enterprise IT decision makers reinforcing this view. Virtualization can enable an organization to meet key IT initiatives without the need for significant infrastructure investment" concludes Ingledew.

The survey, fielded December, 2008, yielded an 18% response rate among IT and business decision-makers in the LinkedIn community, an indication of the effectiveness of professional networks as a sampling source for conducting research among hard to reach B2B and IT audiences.

Published Tuesday, March 03, 2009 9:55 PM by David Marshall
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