Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), the storage solutions subsidiary of Hitachi, recently conducted a survey of its UK partners, which provides a snapshot of their expectations for the UK channel over the next year. The long and short of it is that IT budgets are, unsurprisingly, being kept to a minimum and it looks like staying that way for a while.
Harvey Smith (pictured), UK & Ireland channel sales director at HDS, spoke to HEXUS.channel to offer his perspective on the survey. "People are taking a much more considered approach to capital expenditure," said Smith. "There's a lot of focus on getting the best out of what you've got. Budgets are staying the same, or shrinking."
The good thing about the tech industry is that companies not only invest in it to increase productivity, they also look to technology to save them money. In the current economic climate, the efficiencies created by virtualisation are increasingly appealing to both enterprise and SMEs, with a telling 87 percent of channel respondents saying they expect their customers to invest in virtualisation over the next 12 months.
And this isn't limited to just server virtualisation. Storage virtualisation is also popular as it allows more efficient use of disparate server resources and can help extend the useful life of older storage equipment.
"There's a difference between server and storage virtualisation, with storage virtualisation designed to make many storage systems look like one," said Smith. "A lot of our partners still see the backup and recovery market as one of their top three areas of business."
While it comes as no surprise that cost-cutting is the predominant theme in IT departments these days, and even allowing for any vested interest HDS had in conducting this survey, this is a timely reminder for the channel that it should make sure it can demonstrate pretty rapid ROI on its products and services if it expects customers to spend during the recession.