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2011 IT Spending Intentions Survey Reveals Majority of CommVault Users Not Fretting Over New IT Demands

A little over a week ago CommVault released the results of a survey of Simpana users on their IT Storage Spending Intentions for 2011. As part of that, CommVault also created a PowerPoint (which I had the opportunity to review) that included more details than its accompanying press release. It was while going over that PowerPoint that I gained some additional insight as to why many of these organizations are able to hold the line on hiring and spending even as they look to introduce needed new features and functionality into their infrastructure.

Before I get into what additional insight the PowerPoint provided, I first wanted to highlight the Top Five IT Storage Spending Intentions for 2011 of CommVault users as revealed by this survey. They were:

  1. Managing data growth
  2. Network and equipment purchases
  3. Disaster recovery
  4. Applications/Software
  5. Data backup and recovery

These points were brought out in CommVault’s press release but it was only after looking at the details included in the PowerPoint that I was better able to put these priorities into some context.

First, nearly 50% of the 355 individuals who completed the survey had no plans to increase their budget in 2011 while another 20% still were unsure how their budget for 2011 was going to shake out. In other words, the budget of this 20% could increase, stay the same or even decrease in 2011. Further, a full 80% of those surveyed indicated they either had no plans to increase IT staff levels in 2011 and may even decrease their IT staff.

This is all occurring even as over 60% of the respondents cited managing data growth, disaster recovery and email and file archiving as their most pressing issues in 2011. Under normal circumstances, these conflicting priorities of flat budget and staffing counts with new IT demands would be untenable for most organizations.

In the case of CommVault’s users, however, this does not appear to be true. The vast majority of them have no plans to increase their IT budget or staff which could arguably be due to the increased efficiencies and cost reductions that they have seen as a result of using CommVault® Simpana®. By better managing their existing data, it could be interpreted that they are confident that they can meet these new demands with the same or even less IT budget and staff.

Interestingly 60% of those who completed this survey describe themselves as either backup or server administrators who work in environments that have up to 250 physical servers and up to 250 virtual servers. Translated: the majority of individuals managing these environments are also probably IT generalists.
 
As such, they do not necessarily have advanced training or skills on data management, disaster recovery and email and file archiving. Normally this would stress these folks out as they would be required to purchase and use point solutions and then manage them independently. However this survey suggests that they are still confident that they can deliver on these forthcoming requirements using the features that are already built into Simpana without needing to increase their budgets or staff in order to do so.

Reading between the lines on this survey, CommVault users are like users in any other IT shop. They are being pulled in multiple directions dealing with day-to-day operational requirements of backups, restores, server maintenance and upgrades, performance monitoring and the like. But unlike their counterparts in other shops, they do not appear to be  feeling the pressure to increase their budgets or staff even as they watch their data grow or encounter new demands for archiving or near real time disaster recovery solutions.

Instead they appear to recognize that CommVault Simpana provides them with the comprehensive data management solution that they need to solve their existing problems while also giving them the tools and positioning them to solve their next generation of challenges.

It may come across to some that it is somewhat self-serving on CommVault’s part that one of the survey’s primary conclusions is that a solution like Simpana is well-suited to help organizations confidently meet the challenges that they face today while equipping them to meet future challenges without requiring that they spend more or hire more staff.

But the fact that so many of CommVault’s competitors are trying to do exactly what CommVault has already done lends credence to the validity of this survey.CommVault simply did a better job of building a product tailored to meet these competing organizational needs that tomorrow’s world demands.

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