We all read the blogotwittosphere, and watch TV, and the news is clear – cloud is gradually taking over the world! Is that really so? It turns out that in the world of storage it just might be. Sure, it’s not going to be a complete switch overnight but the signs of a genuine shift (dare I say paradigm?) are revealed in our latest research.
So, just how many organizations are replacing their onsite storage infrastructure usage with cloud storage usage? That’s one of the questions that ESG set out to answer in its recent survey of 418 North American-based IT and data storage professionals. They told us how cloud storage services will likely affect traditional storage spending in their organizations in the short term, and provided a perspective on the future of cloud storage.
In the ESG survey, the use of cloud storage services as a means to source storage capacity in lieu of buying new onsite storage was the #1 most commonly cited IT initiative in terms of significantly impacting organizations’ storage spending over the next 12-18 months. This is consistent with research previously conducted by ESG which revealed that nearly two-thirds of organizations currently using cloud storage services expect to have transferred upwards of 30% of their total storage capacity to the cloud within the next three years. Interestingly, while one might assume that mid-size and smaller organizations might be leading the charge to cloud storage (for ease if nothing else), we in fact found that larger and more complex environments—as measured by onsite storage capacity—showed a greater likelihood of using cloud storage services as a way to offload some of their data (and subsequent capacity requirements); this is probably because larger organizations have the necessary skilled people to evaluate their opportunities and actually manage this change in data storage.
While it is unlikely that organizations—especially those with significant onsite storage footprints—will actually rip-and-replace existing assets (certainly not before their lease or write-down period is up, irrespective of their operational life) in favor of cloud-based capacity on a wholesale basis, it makes sense that many will use storage services in a complementary manner to handle growth (and likely will shift the application /workload mix that is supported by cloud-storage as they go).
We delve further into these cloud storage statistics to uncover important insights for both end-users and cloud/traditional storage vendors in our recently published research brief, Cloud Storage: Replacement or Relief Valve?