Compliance, BYOD help drive small-business storage

Both consumers and SMBs bought more external storage in Q2, IDC said

Small businesses are growing up when it comes to data, investing in bigger and smarter storage systems that can be shared among PCs, tablets and smartphones.

Unit shipments of entry-level business storage grew 20.3 perc ent in the second quarter, compared with a year earlier, according to IDC said Friday.

The kinds of systems that are getting more popular are dedicated devices with room for four or more drives, and growth was even faster on the high end of that market. Storage boxes with five to 12 bays grew 22.6 per cent, IDC said.

Small businesses are getting serious about storage because of stricter rules about holding onto data, especially for medical offices and law firms, and because of BYOD (bring your own device) policies, IDC analyst Liz Conner said. With network-attached storage, tablets and smartphones can access shared company data that would be hard or impossible to get to if it were stored in a particular PC's hard drive, she said. Many of the shared storage systems come with mobile apps for doing just that.

Product choices and awareness are also growing in this market, which includes both small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) and small office and home office (SOHO), Conner said. So-called entry-level storage offers a option in between plugging a simple external drive into a PC and investing in full-scale enterprise storage systems that may cost tens of thousands of dollars.

With 12 bays and 4TB hard drives, entry-level storage platforms can provide as much as 48TB of total capacity and usually come in under $US10,000, Conner said. Increasingly, these entry-level products also come with high-end features such as data deduplication and thin provisioning, which can help enterprises store their data more efficiently, she said.

Home users are also buying more external storage, though at a slower rate. They make up most of the overall PELS (personal and entry-level storage) market, accounting for almost 99 per cent of all the products shipped, and helped to boost overall sales by 1.5 per cent, Conner said.

Overall, small businesses and consumers spent more than $US1.5 billion on external storage in the second quarter. The business side was dominated by Ethernet-connected gear, at about 94 per cent, while the consumer products used USB by about the same percentage. Sales of products using fast, pricey Thunderbolt connections, like those found in the latest Apple gear, grew by 10 per cent but were still less than 1 per cent of either market.

IDC doesn't break out SSDs (solid-state drives) from spinning disks, but Conner believes they sell in smaller numbers here because the speed boost that flash gives is usually lost with these types of connections.

Consumers may be buying more external drives because they are buying more laptops, which tend to have less capacity and be harder to upgrade. But consumers are also starting to realise how valuable their data is, with personal photos and other content existing solely in digital form, Conner said. They are buying more USB hard drives with the intention of regularly backing up their data. But do they?

"Following through is a whole other story," Conner said.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags IDCstorage

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?