Malaysia’s storage market dips amid uncertainty

Malaysia’s enterprise storage market declined 9.2% in 2020, but recovery is on the cards this year as business confidence improves

The enterprise storage market in Malaysia declined 9.2% year-on-year in total value last year due to the economic fallout from the Covid-19 outbreak, according to GlobalData.

In a new report, the technology analyst firm said Malaysia’s enterprise storage market size reached $641m by the end of 2020, down by about 20% from what it was estimated before the pandemic.

In her analysis, GlobalData analyst Nidhi Gupta said the business uncertainty caused by Covid-19 restrictions, and the subsequent drop in revenues, have forced many enterprises Malaysia to take a conservative approach to ICT investments, which has affected their spending on enterprise storage during the year.

An earlier ICT decision makers’ survey covering enterprises in Malaysia already revealed that 71% of respondents believed their enterprise ICT spending on storage would either remain flat or decrease in 2020 following the Covid-19 outbreak.

The slowdown or postponements of new office set-ups due to the pandemic also had a negative impact on the enterprise storage demand in Malaysia for the most part of the year.

But with most enterprises in the country beginning to adjust to the new normal, exuding improved business confidence and re-prioritising their investments on digital transformation, storage spending is expected to recover in 2021.

According to GlobalData, Malaysia’s storage spending is tipped to hit $907.2m by the end of 2024, reflecting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.2% between 2019 and 2024. 

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The growth will be spurred by enterprises that are investing in disruptive technologies, such as big data, artificial intelligence, automation and blockchain, as part of their digital transformation initiatives. That, in turn, drives demand for storage technologies to drive value from the huge datasets generated by those technologies.

Storage hardware comprising all-flash hybrid arrays, hard disk drives, network attached storage and other storage devices will remain the largest market segment in the overall enterprise storage market. 

Although currently a smaller segment, software-defined storage platforms and applications have had considerable demand in recent times and will see their market value increase at a CAGR of 7.5% over the forecast period.

Gupta said: “Benefits such as freedom from hardware vendor lock-in, remote accessibility, high level of flexibility and scalability of storage power, and interoperability with legacy storage infrastructure, will boost the popularity of software-defined storage market in the country.”

Storage suppliers have been doubling down on software-defined storage in recent years. In December 2020, NetApp made its containerised, software-based variant of NetApp Cloud Volumes Service available in three Asia-Pacific markets, including South Korea, Hong Kong and Indonesia.

The cloud-native enterprise storage system is delivered with Google Kubernetes Engine and application programming interfaces supported by Google, enabling businesses speed up developer agility and enhance operational efficiencies.

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