We like to keep up to date with the storage industry here at A3 Communications and, while our customers certainly keep us on our toes regarding their latest innovations and technologies, it’s always interesting to see where others in the business like to get their information.

So with the help of market research experts Vanson Bourne, we asked 100 IT decision makers based in the UK: ‘When it comes to keeping informed about, or researching, the storage industry, what are the sources you tend to use the most?’

Unsurprisingly perhaps, top of the list came analyst houses: IDC, Gartner, Freeform Dynamics and Neuralytix to name but a few. Our survey showed that almost half (47%) of those questioned regularly turn to analysts for information about storage technologies and solutions. This is a trend seen across all sectors questioned – financial, retail, distribution, transport and manufacturing – and slicing through company size (1,000 – 3,000 employees, and over 3,000). Information from these organisations is known to be usually based on factual research, to be up-to-date and, most importantly perhaps, neutral in its opinion. News about global vendors, start-ups and information about all kinds of technology developments is found on most of these analyst sites, so it’s no wonder they’re the go-to for so many of storage buyers.

Other popular sources of information are the vendors themselves (44%), Computer Weekly and associated Techtarget publications like SearchStorage (38%), the online tech publication The Register at 34% (always known to be on top of new trends!), industry blogs such as Architecting IT, Storagebod and Juku (28%), and ZDNet (24%). While it’s true that vendor sites can sometimes be overly enthusiastic about their own products, they are almost guaranteed to be showing the very latest information, customer testimonials and whitepapers.

Blogs on the other hand, especially in Europe, are usually written by independent experts such as consultants or end users their information is often unbiased and informal, perhaps the result of personal experience or meetings over beers. Differently from journalists and analysts, bloggers don’t tend to write as a job and therefore publish posts once or twice a week at most, typically because they enjoy sharing their views on a particular product, technology, company or other subject. This means that feel quite passionate about the subjects they do choose to write about.

Perhaps surprisingly, relatively few respondents cited peers, colleagues and other industry contacts as useful fonts of knowledge perhaps they prefer to source information from tried and tested means and not from those they see as having the same level of insight as they already have. Whatever the reason, fewer than 10% of those questioned wing their way to peers – the analysts are doing just fine at keeping the industry informed, it would seem.

So to the ESGs, Freeform Dynamics, Gartners and IDCs of the storage world we say: keep up the good work, guys!                 

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