Page 1 of 4
But those facts haven't exactly dimmed solution providers' optimism. In fact, one big conclusion of Everything Channel's 2008 State of Technology: Storage survey is that it seems like a good time for solution providers to invest in the storage business.
About 55 percent of solution providers surveyed said their storage business grew from 2007 to 2008, with median growth of 15 percent, while only 8 percent saw a drop in sales.
About 69 percent of solution providers cited increased demand as a key growth driver, while 48 percent said that the addition of new storage expertise and solutions was the second-most important driver.
And the biggest driver of profit in the business is the move to attach more services and value-added components to their sales, according to 59 percent of the solution providers surveyed.
Storage growth in the channel comes even as the economy heads toward a recession because, while customers might take a hit on their sales, they can't stop collecting data or looking for new ways to manage it, solution providers agreed.
For instance, 78 percent of solution providers surveyed cited disaster recovery and/or business continuity as the No. 1 reason for storage product and service purchases, followed by 57 percent who cited either expanding customer infrastructures or the need to cut costs, while 55 cited loss prevention. All of these are services customers need regardless of the economy.
The only impact on storage sales is a slight slowing down in the decision-making process, said Dan Carson, vice president of marketing and business development at Open Systems Solutions Inc., a Willow Grove, Pa.-based solution provider.
Hope Hayes, president of Alliance Technology Group LLC, a Hanover, Md.-based solution provider, said she is planning for the worst, but so far is not getting indications of a slowdown.
The most recent example of a storage boom during market doom came right after 9/11, Hayes said. "Everybody said things would be terrible," she said. "I said the same thing. But in the end, things were fine."
Read on for a category-by-category breakdown and discussion of major topics from this year's survey.