Mid-sized and large organizations store enormous quantities of data and the volumes of data they store continue to increase, resulting in expensive and sub-optimal storage management. For example:

  • Storage and related costs continue to increase and are consuming a significant share of corporate IT budgets – the survey conducted for this report found that nearly two-thirds of organizations are spending more than 10 percent of their annual IT budget on storage, and one in six are spending more than 25 percent of their budget on storage.
  • More than one-third of organizations are spending more than 10 percent of their budget on just backups.
  • Complicating the issue is that much of the data organizations are managing is completely inactive or accessed only very infrequently – for three in five organizations, more than one-quarter of their data is never accessed.
  • Our research found that for 60 percent of organizations, more than one-quarter of the data they manage is inactive – 24 percent of organizations report that more than one-half of their data is inactive. However, much of this data continues to be stored using expensive, primary storage. Organizations continue to pay not only the direct costs of storage to retain it, but labor and other storage management costs, as well.

The good news is that a large and growing proportion of organizations are well on their way to completing their data center transformation and some have completed it. As part of this transformation, organizations are moving heavily toward cloud-based storage – our research found that while fewer than two in five organizations today store more than 25 percent of their data in the cloud, more than four in five organizations will be doing so in five years.


Osterman Research conducted a survey of mid-sized and large organizations during October and November 2018 with members of the Osterman Research survey panel who are knowledgeable about their organization’s cloud infrastructure. The median number of employees at the organizations surveyed was 1,839 and the minimum number was 500. A total of 130 surveys were completed with organizations across a wide range of industries.

The research and this report were sponsored by HubStor and Microsoft.

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