Enterprise executives are under intense pressure these days to deliver a wide range of new and expanding data services amid shrinking IT budgets. It seems that the front office has taken to heart the mantra “do more with less” and is buoyed by the notion that the cloud will come to the rescue when confronting all manner of data challenges.
This is part of the reason why top research firms like Gartner are starting to pull back on their IT spending predictions. As I noted last week, the company recently trimmed its 2014 growth outlook by about a third, from a 3.2 percent expansion to 2.1 percent, even though that still represents a substantial $3.75 trillion market. A deeper dive into the numbers, however, shows a data center hardware market flat-lining for the next year at about $140 billion, while an oversupply of SAN and NAS systems is likely to drive prices down even further. IT services, meanwhile, are looking at about 3.8 percent growth this year, representing nearly $1 billion in revenue.
But is it really that bad? Are we on a one-way street to a utility-style, all-cloud data center? Not hardly, at least not yet. The fact remains that there are plenty of compelling reasons for enterprises of all stripes to build and maintain local data infrastructure, both as stand-alone IT environments and hybrid systems tied to third-party resources.