IT Storage Solutions: What the SUDS Study Means for IT Companies

10/23/12 8:00 AM Laura Pelkey

IT StorageIn 2010 the International Data Corporation (IDC) started a survey known as SUDS, the Storage User Demand Study, to determine several things; how storage solutions are being deployed, what the users prefer and what influenced their decisions. The survey was initiated during the fall of 2011 with a total of 1,000 respondents.

The IDC survey was centered on storage based outside of the end user’s premises—third party software which the user does not manage. 40 percent of the respondents were based in the United States with company size varying from 50 to 10,000 employees. According to the IDC, enterprise storage applications account for up to 70 percent or more of the software applications used by most enterprises, making these applications a useful baseline for research.

What does the 2011 SUDS study mean for you and your company?  

As third party IT storage solutions become more available, providers will offer more storage to meet the demands of end-users. This can impact your business in terms of storage, servers, networks, and the organization overall.

The Need to Hire More Employees

More than 52 percent of the 2011 respondents mentioned their intentions to hire more full-time storage administrators within a year. For large organizations, storage requirements can be immense; current IT staff may not have the time or resources to handle the increase in workload. At the same time, the number of respondents who replied that they will be cutting back on their staff decreased. Medium and large-sized companies generally expect to hire more employees to provide storage solutions.

The increasing demand for data and networking has enhanced the growth of third party storage. While small companies are not necessarily affected by the staffing needs, future growth and expansion will likely increase the demand for larger storage solutions.

More Vendor Loyalty

The International Data Corporation found their fall respondents purchased more storage from storage-specific vendors than respondents in the spring survey. In other words, those surveyed only bought from larger vendors. These system vendors were among those most chosen to provide external storage between 2011 and 2012.

Moreover, the spring respondents weren’t as likely to consider new vendors outside of the vendors used for their current deployments. Storage solution providers have the opportunity to lock-in customers with expert networking solutions and top-notch service, to ensure they are chosen as the only storage solution.

More Hosted Storage Opportunities

The User Demand Study’s second edition shows a trend—end users plan to make cutbacks on their onsite storage deployments within a year of the study. This is most likely due to the growing acceptance and interest in third party storage solutions, especially hosted or cloud services. This spells the dawn of more user-friendly services, tools and resources to come, and a market prepped to respond quickly to their needs and concerns.

Users are currently witness to the unfolding of the 2011 SUDS study whether they are aware of it or not. Want to learn more about the best ways to prepare your company for on-site storage deployment?

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