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Storage needs set to double

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Data storage requirements for small and mid-size businesses are predicted to double over the next four years, according to a new Fujitsu study among senior finance professionals in SMEs.
There is, however, widespread concern (from 76% of respondents) that high or unpredictable data growth will lead to escalating data storage and management costs.
According to a survey conducted among 182 chief financial officers across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, three in five see technology as an important enabler of operational efficiency during digital transformation (59%). More than a quarter of CFOs surveyed view technology as a key source of competitive advantage (28%).
With a keen eye on risk, issues of data availability, data protection and data security are front of mind for finance decision makers, who also expressed anxiety about the implications of an unexpected growth in data volumes. Top issues include the need to fund additional storage capacity and concerns about spiraling data management costs due to rapidly increasing data volumes.
Senior finance professionals are also acutely aware of the challenges that traditional disk and tape-based storage solutions and expressed frustration at factors such as systems hitting an expandability wall, leading to investment requests coming out of the blue; the waste of equipment which prematurely reaches end-of-life, and a high reliance on skilled IT staff and the challenges associated with maintaining these skills.
Looking forward, finance professionals outlined the key characteristics they expect to see in relation to new storage technology — highlighting three factors as most important: Automation to reduce reliance on manual skills to minimise both cost and risk; the ability to add capacity as demands increase, without replacing entire systems, and overall system flexibility to better deal with high and unpredictable data growth.
Olivier Delachapelle, head of category management data center at Fujitsu in EMEIA, comments: “The findings from our survey of CFOs confirm that security and data protection are key objectives for any storage modernisation initiative. With nine in 10 senior finance professionals putting general future-proofing high on the agenda, the days are clearly numbered for the traditional scale up approach to storage.
“In the digital business landscape of today, more than ever, small and mid-size businesses need storage solutions that aren’t going to hold them back, no matter how fast growing or unpredictable their demands for data storage and backup.”