European Businesses taking risks with their storage

Global Switch, a provider of purpose-built high-specification data centres, has released findings from a pan-European survey, highlighting the alarming fact that half of European businesses predict no increase in their IT space or power requirements, despite a forecasted surge in IT investment.

Global Switch warns that if these misconceptions do not dramatically change, current office infrastructures could be set to buckle, placing many businesses under unanticipated pressure.

As business' dependency on IT continues to grow, 66% of the companies surveyed admit to planning significant IT investments over the coming twelve months. However, there is a surprising disconnect between IT managers' planned investments and their perception of the space and power that such systems and equipment may consume.

Financial institutions are the least aware. 70% are planning to increase IT spend this year - yet 45% insist this will not impact on spatial demands, and 53% extraordinarily do not expect this to result in increased power consumption. This, despite the fact that 46% admit to an increase in power consumption over the past six months.

Other companies set to fall in to this trap include those within the pharmaceutical and online sectors. 29% of these expect their data centre space requirements to remain unchanged, and 21% and 33% respectively assume that planned investments will not impact on power consumption. Business service providers appear to be the most realistic

- with all those surveyed assuming an increase in power and spatial needs.

Attitudes across Europe also differ when it comes to the perceived financial impact of mounting IT usage. Given the UK's rising power costs, the 69% of UK companies which admitted to increased consumption over the past six months will have felt the financial impact - and 71% of these expect this trend to continue over the coming year. This is echoed across the continent, and as 66% of European companies plan further IT investments, measures will have to be taken to manage the consequences, with 48% already anticipating the need for increased space.

Greg Scorziello, CEO at Global Switch, comments: "With companies across Europe continuing to invest in their IT systems, they must begin to recognise the resulting space and power requirements. Even those companies which have available floor space may not be equipped to handle the excessive power usage - and they are most unlikely to have the facilities necessary to keep systems cool and in working order, thus mitigating risk and avoiding costly power outages. IT directors must start taking these issues in to consideration - or European business could well start feeling the heat."