Arrow Electronics said it built its Universal Enterprise Storage Solutions Lab for one reason: Solution providers are going to need it.
Storage solutions will account for about 70 percent of enterprise IT hardware purchases for the next 18 to 24 months, Arrow executives said, citing a Dataquest report.
"By 2005, this is going to be a $40 billion market, that's up from $18 [billion to $20 billion for 2000. That's a dramatic increase in backup and redundant storage opportunities," said Jim Markisohn, vice president of business development for Arrow's North American Computer Products group.
The growth has been keyed by end users' increased interest in protecting their data, particularly after Sept. 11, said Robert Hankins, storage manager at Solution Technology, a Naperville, Ill.-based solution provider.
"One year ago, I was out box-selling, pushing server consolidation. We did some solutions, but it was primarily a Gigabyte-type sell," Hankins said. "Now we're more trying to solve problems, such as business continuity. Twelve months ago, we sold one product: IBM Enterprise Storage Servers. Now we have more to complement that to create a formidable solution."
"If your storage business isn't growing, probably your business isn't growing. That's the largest line item in the IT budget. It's also very strategic to customers," said Randy Kerns, senior partner for the Evaluator Group in Denver. "There's going to be a huge spike in business continuity solutions. Fortune 100 companies are hiring storage strategists now."
Vertical markets such as oil and gas exploration, rich media, entertainment and satellite/streaming video are particularly hot opportunities for storage now, Kerns said.