Storage market has shifted to consumption-based IT: HDS

Claims market is embracing consumption-based IT at an “astounding” rate

The rate at which customers have shifted their preference toward consumption based IT over the past 12 months has been “astounding”, according to Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) A/NZ chief technology officer, Adrian De Luca.

However, De Luca said the trend itself had not been a surprise.

“A few years ago we predicted that customers would shift their preference toward consumption based IT,” he said.

While De Luca said this trend was expected in data storage, the rate of adoption has been "surprising."

“Constraints in capital budgets, the industry-wide skills shortage and the strong need to manage storage more efficiently have been the key drivers for this change,” De Luca said.

Although the Cloud based-storage model looks appealing, giving customers the flexibility to dial usage up and down as required, De Luca said many organisations quickly discount it.

The blame can be laid on the actual consumption curve, which typically goes up and rarely down, the limited number of proven providers in the market, and the high cost of having this flexibility.

“Many have assumed that it would become the ideal offering,” De Luca said.

“Instead, we have seen far greater demand for utility based models, whereby customers can negotiate a consistent, predictable cost for different storage tiers, per Gigabyte or Terabyte for an agreed period of time.”

To illustrate, De Luca said it works like a gas or electricity bill, though without the unpredictable price hikes.

Managed service models offer utility pricing to manage information assets, targeted at those who struggle to hire or maintain skilled IT staff to manage storage usage.

“These managed services include onsite or remote assessments, provisioning, operational management, transition and reporting,” he said.

Partner power

HDS’ focus in Australia for 2013 will be its partners, particularly new ones such as Dilignet, Ensyst and Clarity.

Their aim is to bring their specialised services to a larger Australian market.

“We are also continuing to develop new strategic partnerships locally, with specialist partners to deliver value on top of specific solutions to industries such as the media and entertainment space,” De Luca said.

When it comes to the big picture, HDS’ will use 2013 as an opportunity to use the value of its strategic partners with its solution portfolio, whether it is data storage all the way to software.

De Luca also highlighted Big Data as a focus for the vendor this year.

“As customers in mining and healthcare look for ways to create value from the data they collect and manage, we will have some exciting developments to show everyone,” he said.

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.

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