The growing need for cost-effective solutions and the emergence of 5G as likely to offer many growth opportunities in the Global Personal and Entry Level Storage (PELS) market for years to come.

Despite the growth opportunities in the market, COVID-19 has taken its toll. Growth in the PELS market, like in most other markets, has been affected by the shutting down of factories, supply chain obstacles and the downturn in the world economy. A new reality is taking shape that’s made up of uncertainties and complexities but it also presents opportunities.

What is entry-level storage?

Storing and managing the data is vital for any organization. Many companies are storing data in a variety of different ways today, such as using cloud-based warehouses and operational data stores.

An entry-level storage system offers dense, compact, easy-to-use, and cost-effective storage. It enables the consolidation of multiple applications on a single system that’s easy to install, deploy and secure.

Some of its advantages are that it increases efficiency and improves user experience with secure, fast, and continuous access to data. It also increases the ability for IT to leverage the latest technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence and the cloud.

Cloud-based and non-cloud based storage

The entry-level market is classified into cloud-based and non-cloud-based storage. The non-cloud-based segment consists of SSD, HDD, flash drives, and recordable discs. The cloud-based segment is also likely to see significant growth with scalability, flexibility and cost-effectiveness driving demand. However, according to market research, the non-cloud-based segment is expected to continue to dominate in the forecast period 2020 to 2027.

Tough competition

According to market research, the Asia-Pacific region is likely to grow substantially through the forecast period, largely due to speedy internet penetration and the adoption of social media platforms. The North American region, however, is likely to account for maximum market contribution due to increasing demands from the media and entertainment industry.

There is tough competition among emerging and pre-existing market vendors in the PELS market who are trying to gain a competitive advantage

Some major players in the PELS market are Hitachi Vantara, Toshiba, Dell EMC, IBM, Hewlett-Packard Enterprises, Cisco, NetApp, Western Digital and Seagate Technology. Many of these companies are offering new and modern entry-level storage solutions.

Short-term disruptions

COVID-19 caused supply challenges and reduced manufacturing and assembly capacity. Plant re-openings were further delayed by lags in the supply of components and travel bans led to workforce shortages.

Supply challenges are likely to continue as different countries pass through different waves of the COVID-19 infection cycle. There will be competition for supplies and consumers will pay higher costs. Manufacturers are being forced to reduce output due to labor issues. Logistics are being hampered by legal restrictions and border closings. Many sales venues have lacked staff and customers. The crisis has precipitated the desire of customers for direct deliveries.

Acting in the crisis

Many companies have to cope with the short-term disruptions whilst also putting in place new capabilities and ways of working for the future. One of the best ways to prepare for the future is to be able to scale and adapt to changing needs.

Companies are looking to strengthen or replace technology that no longer serves them. They are also making sure they have the right technologies in place to support their remote workforces. Networks connecting devices to places where employees work remotely need to be shored up.

Security and data recovery are some other data-related issues. Consumers increasingly want to be sure their data is secure. Online tools are available that can help with the data recovery process in certain situations, but in others, such as when a hard drive fails mechanically, it is possible to do more harm than good and increase the risk of losing data.

Companies in the PELS market need to ask themselves whether the COVID-19 situation gives them new opportunities to rethink their systems, such as their storage systems. They need to assess whether they have gained insights that will help them to improve their demand planning over the short and the long term.

Diversifying their supply chains can decrease their reliance on certain countries and increase their resilience in the event of future disruptions. Using AI can help them predict changing demands.

Being poised for the future

The good news for the PELS market is that once the disruptions are over, there is an opportunity for unprecedented growth. The shift to remote working with the help of digital tools is likely to drive demand for high tech in many categories. Pent-up consumer spending after the COVID-19 crisis will probably mean that long-term demand forecasts will only experience minimal change.

In the wake of COVID-19, there is likely to be a lasting shift in the expectations of employees, adoption of more automated, diverse supply chains, more capacity to respond to global disruptions and changing consumer demands.

Embracing digital transformation

Consumers have migrated online to shop and the rise of omnichannel options is likely to continue. In-app ordering, home delivery, voice assistants and virtual consultations are becoming more commonplace. Companies are increasingly relying on digital tools to engage with consumers and offer them the experiences they desire. An explosion of apps creates new demands when it comes to storage.

It is important for companies to embrace digital transformation. Entry-level storage systems can be smart, secure and cost-effective and offer high-performance storage. This enables companies to start small and grow. They can connect to the cloud as their business requirements grow. The hybrid cloud has become one of the best ways of meeting changing business needs.

When looking at entry-level storage systems, companies need to go for those that provide scalability, new levels of performance, comprehensive data services, data protection, and cloud integration.

 A final word

Organizations in the entry-level storage market need to become resilient and agile if they hope to adapt and thrive. Both leaders and organizations must address the changes required from people, operations, and technology at speed and scale.