We have all heard of the pressures the current economic downturn is having on companies. Just this month (January 2009) in the Wall Street Journal article, “Tech Spending to Decline in ’09”, Forrester Research states, “Spending on information-technology goods and services this year will contract 3% compared with 2008 to $1.66 trillion.” But what might raise a few eyebrows with regards to the future is in that same article Forrester forecasts that the recession will be short-lived and technology will grow once again in 2010. Specifically, Forrester predicts:
- Spending on technology to grow 9%
- Software sales will grow 10%
- Services will grow 9%
- Telecommunications will grow 8%
- Computer equipment will grow 7%
These numbers and change in direction just prove how quickly economic conditions can change and at any time. What concerns me is that it makes me wonder if organizations will still be trying to make decisions based on the current economic lows even as the economy starts to turn around. While I tend to believe that many organizations are and will be flying by the seat of their pants for some time, a new commonality emerging across many organizations is their new-found frugality and more careful evaluation of purchases. Further, it’s almost as if organizations are suddenly discovering that they need to innovate as a means to maintain some form of stability, lower costs and boost returns.
One key area where organizations should look to innovate is in the data center, so they can cut back on the cost of technology as they pave the way for greater efficiencies as the economy fluctuates. To accomplish this, the Managing Director of Storage Research for TheInfoPro, Robert Stevenson, noted that one key technology organizations are using to maximize their efforts is thin provisioning.
Recent research conducted by TheInfoPro points to thin provisioning as a technology companies are using to innovate. The Storage Study conducted by TheInfoPro reflects a growing importance of thin provisioning for Fortune-1000 and Midsize Enterprise storage end users–increasing 30% over the last three storage studies. Stevenson advises, “With the current downturn in the economy, end users are indicating that much of their efforts are being focused on consolidation, refresh, and improving storage utilization by reclaiming under-used and over-allocated storage and thereby maximizing assets and minimizing spending. In our surveys, thin provisioning has moved up from a ‘nice to have’ feature to a ‘must have’ for intelligent storage utilization management.”
To help prove the new thin provisioning trend does in fact provide costs savings, a recent survey conducted by 3PAR revealed that 50% of 3PAR Utility Storage customers saved at least $50,000 in up-front capacity purchases over the past 12 months with 3PAR Thin Provisioning.
The successes customers have with thin provisioning from 3PAR is rooted in 3PAR’s technology and ability to help customer get control of their storage usage by getting and then staying thin which often times reduce storage capacities by as much as 75%. Technologies such as “Thin Built In” for 3PAR’s T-Class Storage Servers and Thin Reclamation from a partnership with Symantec are just two examples where 3PAR is extending thin provisioning and helping organizations navigate both current and future economic conditions. I venture to say this is part of the reason why TheInfoPro study ranks 3PAR’s Utility Storage #1.