3. Planning for disaster
There's no doubting that security has been a huge talking point over the course of 2013. However, what's less talked about is the fact that many Middle Eastern businesses have disaster recovery policies in place that are either outdated or not truly fit for purpose.
According to Christian Assaf, Senior Sales Manager, Seagate METAG, however, this issue will be addressed around during 2014. "We believe that the need for greater security protocol and disaster recovery back-ups will be two of the most significant elements influencing the regional storage market in the year ahead," he says.
4. We're in for a fast ride
Storage innovations have been happening fast over the past couple of years, with the industry coming out with more and more next-level products almost monthly. And according to Shams Hasan, Enterprise Product Manager, Dell Middle East, this pace of innovation isn't going to stop anytime soon.
"The industry is going to keep evolving and the pace of change will remain rapid -- it certainly won't slow down," he says.
In the Middle East, Hasan believes that businesses will begin to recognise the importance of better storage strategies, higher standards, improved security and enhanced infrastructure. However, he also advises that, while vendors may be able to support these goals through their next-generation storage products, businesses should also be looking at standardising as they upgrade.
"A huge variety of offerings and solutions are currently being used by customers, but over the next few years we expect to see customers looking at standardising storage towards trusted and well-established providers," he says.
5. Bring on the cloud
Cloud-based storage is certainly nothing new, but due to limitations in bandwidth and concerns over security, the concept hasn't really taken off in the enterprise arena. However, this could all change in 2014.
"I think there will still be a focus on cloud storage since this is a very active market, it hasn't been since only recently that the market embraces the advantages of cloud storage and with this comes more demand for it," says Sakkeer Hussain K., Sales and Marketing Manager, D-Link Middle East and Africa.
That said, concerns over security still abound when it comes to the cloud, so Hussain believes that more businesses will end up considering private cloud storage much more seriously.
"I think there will be bigger demands for private cloud offerings since there is a concern in public cloud storage. Some companies will not invest in public storage due to confidentiality reasons; therefore a demand for private cloud or more secure cloud storage will start to grow," he says.
This does not mean that some companies won't opt for public cloud storage when it comes to less sensitive data. Indeed, as with any cloud argument, it comes down to being able to pay for things on an OPEX basis, and this is what cloud-based storage can offer.
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