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ioFABRIC Survey Finds Canada’s Medium-size IT Departments Overstretched, Underfunded

Originally published on Cantech Letter

Consistent with other studies of the state of IT spending in Canada, Toronto’s ioFABRIC has released its own survey, providing something of a wake-up call for small-to-medium businesses and the state of their IT departments, typified by shrinking budgets, stagnant salaries and a lack of commitment for anything other than urgent needs.

According to the software-designed storage company, more than 70% of respondents to the survey said their IT budget had either stayed the same or decreased over the past three years, and 15% don’t expect to see an increase over the next three years.

Half of businesses surveyed said that necessary upgrades were “a major challenge” given their budgetary constraints.

No, proprietors of medium-sized Canadian enterprises expect, by some kind of miracle, that their IT departments will be able to handle cyber-attacks and system failures with no increase in expenditure.

In the near term, of IT departments surveyed, 71% expect reduced spending on hardware, a 42% reduction in spending on software, a 42% cutback on outsourcing and hiring professional services, and 29% reduced spending on human resources, including salaries and training.

Obviously unsustainable, but it’s a common enough fantasy that perhaps people feel safety in numbers. If everyone is in the same doomed boat, we all feel a little better about the situation.

“Based on this data, concerns about controlling capital expenses and operating expenses cannot be underestimated, and the market needs to send a message of delivering business value and optimizing costs,” said ioFABRIC co-founder and CEO Steven Lamb.

“While it’s tempting to see this as troubling news for vendors, it’s also an opportunity for companies like ours to educate and help customers better understand how to get the most out of existing systems, how to support their workloads efficiently, and how to drive more value out of existing storage systems and scale in the future with less cost.”

Indeed, ioFabric is in the business of selling managed services to overburdened medium-sized enterprises.

All the same, the picture is consistent with so many other studies painted of the current state of IT that it’s difficult to ignore.

“Downtime and performance problems are frequently the result of aging infrastructures, and also the inability to adapt to infrastructure and application workload changes,” said ioFABRIC co-Founder and CTO Rayan Zachariassen.

Identical to a recent survey commissioned by Rogers and conducted by Vancouver’s Vision Critical, which found that small-to-medium size businesses spend 70% of their time “keeping the lights on” with 30% of time remaining for “innovation”, the ioFABRIC survey also reports that 35% of respondents replied “yes” to whether they have enough time in the day to effectively manage their storage system.

“Eliminating manual chores like provisioning and migration, complexity, or constraints on future growth are easy problems to solve – if there is an adequate budget,” said Lamb. “Without the budget, companies need to look for solutions that let them do more with their existing infrastructure. This is a key focus at ioFABRIC. We created Vicinity in direct response to the market need for extending hardware life to meet budget constraints. What this survey tells us is doing more with less, or doing more with the same amount of resources for years on end, is the new reality for a broad segment of users.”

ioFABRIC’s Vicinity Quality-of-Service driven automation platform uses existing systems and media to get extra life out of existing storage while scaling performance and capacity.

Vicinity can be licensed or white-labelled with additional hardware and/or software through ioFABRIC’s channel partners.