CIO Survey Shows Storage Industry Trends

Investment firm Merrill Lynch recently released a report detailing IT and storage trends and beliefs by chief information officers (CIOs). Merrill Lynch surveyed 75 CIOs from the United States and 25 CIOs from Europe. The survey concluded that most CIOs view storage as a commodity. When asked whether storage software products met companies' needs, 70 percent of respondents answered yes. This result surprised analysts because of past complaints by CIOs about storage products and the relative immaturity of the market.

One of the surprising results from the survey involved networking giant Cisco Systems. According the CIO survey, Cisco will need to prove itself before succeeding in the storage networking market. Cisco, which recently acquired storage networking company Andiamo Systems, has been trying to gain a foothold in the increasingly competitive storage networking industry. Cisco's main competition has been companies such as Brocade Communications Systems and EMC. According to the survey, the company was given a 5.7 out of 10 chance of success in the storage switch market by survey participants.

The survey also concluded that most CIOs would rather buy switches directly from Cisco than have the switches integrated into storage hardware from vendors such as EMC, Hitachi, or IBM. But storage vendors might resist that approach.

"EMC seems to want switch competition in order to lower prices and accelerate SAN adoption," Merrill Lynch analyst John Roy wrote in the report. "EMC does not want, however, to lose its accounts control by having Cisco sell directly and perhaps even forward-integrate into storage."

The report also contained information about storage spending. CIOs are expected to increase spending on storage solution by about 5 percent this year. Overall IT spending might drop from last year.

You can see this report in full at:

http://ml.com/researchmarketing/content/techstratciosurvey.pdf

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