With advances in storage networking and the introduction of new low-cost storage options, IDC believes the storage software market will more than double by 2006, reaching $13.6 billion compared with the slight 0.9% growth experienced from 2000-2001.
"The scale and complexity of today's storage systems has created a demand for innovative, integrated storage software products," said Bill North, research director for IDC's Storage Software service. "Software suppliers whose products can simply automate the management of storage systems, and those who can keep pace with technology changes and emerging storage architectures, will have rich new opportunities and will continue to experience rapid growth."
IDC also believes the storage resource management area will be the fastest-growing sub-segment over the next five years, increasing at a compound annual growth rate of 21.6%. Growth is attributed to the adoption of more sophisticated resource management tools designed with storage networking in mind as well as increased corporate emphasis on making better use of existing storage systems.
The two other segments comprising the storage software market - backup, archive, and hierarchal storage management (HSM) and storage replication - declined in 2001 primarily as a result of the economic downturn and lower IT spending, but both are expected to rebound over the forecast period.
The following trends are expected to accelerate the total storage software market and drive healthy competition in the future:
- The increased networked storage solutions adoption in 2001 will continue as customers replace aging and obsolete systems with current technology.
- The scale and diversity of network storage environments is driving demand for increased interaction and integration between storage products that function in different parts of the storage management space.
- Storage area networks (SAN) management and storage resource management software are still a battleground for product differentiation and added value for storage hardware and software suppliers.
The complete findings of IDC's research can be found in the recently released Worldwide Storage Software Forecast and Analysis, 2002-2006 report, which presents an in-depth look at the storage software market and includes a five year forecast for the total market as well as comprising subsegments.