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Even though the cost of storing a terabyte of data has dropped dramatically over the last several years, the total volume of data being stored has resulted in a marked increase in the percentage of the IT budget being allocated to data storage. Not surprisingly, IT organizations are now starting to focus more on reducing those costs.

Komprise, a provider of data management tools, conducted a survey of 300 enterprise storage IT decision makers at companies with more than 1,000 employees in the U.S. and United Kingdom. Their survey found 65 percent of organizations spend more than 30 percent of their IT budgets on data storage and management: One-third (33 percent) are spending 30-40 percent of IT budget on storage and data protection, while 31 percent are spending more than 40 percent, the survey finds.

Furthermore, 62 percent of respondents said they expect to spend more on storage in 2021 versus 2020. Over 60 percent of respondents said they are already managing more than 1 petabytes (PB) of data, with nearly 40 percent managing more than 5PB of data. One-third of respondents also noted that 50 percent of their data is cold. Another 20 percent said they didn’t know what percentage of their data might be cold.

In addition, the survey finds 50 percent of enterprises have data stored both on-premises and in the cloud, with 43 percent planning to or buying more cloud storage. Nearly half will spend more than 50 percent of IT budgets on cloud data storage in the next two years, the survey finds.

Less than half of respondents (47 percent) are using tools to move data to secondary storage. The rest are doing it manually and, in most cases, not treating cold data differently than warm or hot data. On the plus side, more than half of respondents (56 percent) said they are creating policies that can be systematically applied to manage data.

Reducing data storage costs to meet upcoming goals

The survey also revealed that well over a third (40 percent) said they are also planning to modernize their backup and disaster recovery systems in the next 12 months. The top three strategic goals finds investing in analytics, reducing storage costs, and attaining better visibility statistically tied at 45 percent, according to the survey. More than a third (34 percent) said their top challenge is the simple fact that data is growing so fast that the cost of storing and backing it all up is becoming expensive.

This leaves no doubt there’s plenty of opportunity for managed service providers (MSPs) to assist organizations looking to rein in storage costs. Much of that effort would naturally start with the best data practices that so many organizations clearly lack. The good news is now that organizations are increasingly counting on their data to surface strategic insights, there has never been more interest in identifying the best data management practices. In fact, for the first time, organizations are starting to manage data in isolation from the applications employed to create it, or the infrastructure employed to store it.

That creates a unique opportunity for MSPs that specialize in data management to build a data management practice that goes well beyond backup and recovery. The challenge now is finding a way to make sure potential customers know that this level of data management expertise exists.

Photo: zentilia / Shutterstock

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Mike Vizard

Posted by Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard has covered IT for more than 25 years, and has edited or contributed to a number of tech publications including InfoWorld, eWeek, CRN, Baseline, ComputerWorld, TMCNet, and Digital Review. He currently blogs for IT Business Edge and contributes to CIOinsight, The Channel Insider, Programmableweb and Slashdot. Mike blogs about emerging cloud technology for Smarter MSP.


  1. Great article


  2. Very informative and timely article. Thanks for sharing!


  3. smaller data foot print = lower costs all around


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