The Roundup: What Are You Spending on Storage Services?

Growth Forecast for Global Storage Services

Global spending on storage services (consulting, integration, management, support services) will have a moderate yearly growth rate of 6.1% through 2005, according to a new report from IDC of Framingham, Mass. (Worldwide Storage Services Forecast and Analysis, 2000-2005).

As storage hardware prices fall the rigors of building and managing a network storage system will push enterprises to spend for those services. The segments of the industry forecast with the fastest growth will be storage implementation and integration, according to IDC.

Networked storage services will continue to become a larger part of the total storage services market through 2005; spending for services on direct-attached storage will continue to fall as a percentage of the total. A worldwide spending slowdown (to single-digit growth) is expected over the next 12-18 months before growth accelerates in 2003, IDC reports.

The storage service provider market, once viewed as a threat to traditional storage suppliers and servicers, “shriveled up” in 2001. Now just a few SSPs remain, with the model instead being adopted by large outsourcers (such as EDS and IBM Global Services) and telecom firms treating storage-on-demand as a managed service.

Top 10 IT Issues for Wholesale Financial Services

Meridien Research of Newton, Mass., predicts IT spending initiatives in the global wholesale financial services industry (including banks, insurers, investment banks, asset management firms) will be flat at $26.2 billion this year.

It also offers a Top 10 list of strategic initiatives among wholesale financial institutions. The most important business issues/applications in 2002, from 1-10, include: Credit risk management, enterprise business process management integration, return on IT investments, straight-through processing, regulatory changes, knowledge management, portal solutions and self-service, security, outsourcing and packaged applications, and financial institutions as IT solution providers.

Meridien notes that a variety of factors -the economic slowdown, dot-com deaths, and the 9/11 tragedy- have caught many financial institutions by surprise. “This caused
institutions to reexamine their IT spending initiatives across the board, leading to project resizing or cutbacks as well as the reallocation of resources,” says research director Bill Bradway. Many financial institutions are “aggressively downsizing” their e-commerce efforts to focus on strategic projects with the greatest return on investment.

Rising Broadband Prices Slowing Adoption
A new report on consumer broadband adoption finds that rapidly rising prices are turning them off, leading many people to keep their cheaper dial-up accounts.

ARS Inc. reports that cable broadband prices rose 12% last year, jumping from an average of $39.40 per month in January to $44.22 per month in December. For another broadband technology, ADSL (the most popular DSL type for consumers), monthly subscription rates rose 10% last year, from an average of $47.18 to $51.67 over the course of 12 months. Mark Kersey, a broadband and cable analyst at ARS, said prices are being driven up in part by a tremendous consolidation of providers in the broadband industry (fewer choices means higher prices) and slowing adoption. Broadband subscriptions grew by about 34% in the third quarter of 2000, but grew only about 14% in the third quarter last year.

Bottom line: The price hikes will hinder widespread broadband adoption among consumers, many of whom will resist the switch and keep their cheaper dial-up accounts.

This Is A Man’s World (Wide Web)

A new study by Nielsen//NetRatings finds the majority of people visiting the most trafficked sites on the Web are men. The most trafficked sites include (in order of popularity) Yahoo!, MSN, AOL Time Warner, Microsoft, Lycos, Google,, About-Primedia, eBay and CNET Networks.

Excluding the U.S. and Canada, the Internet population in every country Nielsen/NetRatings measures is predominantly male, says its chief of measurement science and analytics Richard Goosey. “The proportions of the audiences for these top properties are often heavily male, going well beyond the general male to female proportion of the overall population.” (The gender proportion for each property in the Americas region is more balanced, reflecting the strong female audiences in the U.S. and Canada, he adds.)

The survey conducted in November found that there is at least a 6 percent spread overall between the numbers of male over female users. (For example, Yahoo’s global demographics are 54% male and 46% female.) In some cases that disparity reaches as much as 60 percent. CNET Networks and eBay showed the most marked tendency toward male users, particularly in Europe and Asia Pacific.

-This item by Michael Singer of’s