Two in five execs grumble flash technology is too expensive, research finds


Two in five senior executives believe flash storage technology is too expensive to invest in, according to new research figures released by data management and cloud storage provider NetApp.

The study, which polled more than 1000 UK IT decision makers, also argued that one in four financial purse holders within enterprises do not understand Flash enough to make an investment. Yet the overwhelming majority of respondents (90%) believe there is a need for flash in their business. Respondents in HR (100%) and healthcare (95%) were the strongest supporters of investing in the technology.

The research also found that the cost barrier was an issue for businesses of all sizes. 38% of smaller and bigger businesses polled argued Flash was too pricey, compared to 40% of medium sized businesses.

Yet NetApp argues that the benefits of flash go beyond the bottom line. “Our research shows that while the business value of flash in terms of performance and responsiveness is understood by IT decision makers, education on the true value of flash needs to continue further up the chain,” said Laurence James, EMEA products, alliances and solutions manager at NetApp. “Flash is a long-term investment that can transform business performance and should not be analysed in terms of capital investment alone.”

Let’s give this study a bit of context. NetApp announced its intent to acquire SolidFire, an all-flash storage provider, late in December last year for a reported $870 million. Pure Storage, another flash storage provider which went public in October, took the opportunity to have a dig at the deal – and more specifically, NetApp’s strategy – in a blog post.

No Christmas cards exchanged between those two then, presumably. Yet seven months on, the acquisition has thrown up some interesting developments. Speaking to Tech Target earlier this week, SolidFire CTO Val Bercovici – a former NetApp veteran – argued that the purchase gave NetApp the ability to “enter completely adjacent markets that other storage vendors are just not in.”