Will Managed Storage Providers Emulate HP?

If you're wondering how managed storage services will evolve in the business market, perhaps you should keep an eye on the customer industry. There, Hewlett-Packard and a bunch of start-ups are launching online storage services that promote simple file access and file sharing.

Here's a look at how the consumer managed storage market is evolving, and how it may soon impact the small business market.

The latest entry is Hewlett-Packard's Upline, which costs $59 per year for unlimited consumer storage. But TechCrunch is quick to note that the Upline service may appeal to small businesses that want to "take advantage of special licenses and features that allow for central management of multiple accounts."

Other start-ups, such as Dropbox, are designing managed storage services that synchronize with Amazon.com's S3 (Simple Managed Storage) service. And then there's SugarSync, which synchronizes your data across multiple devices.

These consumer-oriented efforts bring four words to mind:

  • Simple
  • Elegant
  • Powerful
  • Cost effective
I'm not suggesting that business-centric managed storage needs to be as simple or as low-cost as consumer services. But I do believe prices for managed storage services will evolve rapidly, for three reasons:
  1. Competition: More than 70 percent of the top MSPs already offer some form of managed storage, according to our MSPmentor 100 survey results.
  2. The typical business doubles its storage requirements every 12 to 18 months, according to Gartner.
  3. At the same time, small businesses can't afford to double their managed storage budgets every 12 to 18 months.
Or can they? Feel free to weigh in on that point.
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