IT organizations and storage vendors have to commit resources now – amid uncertainty – in the form of budgets for the upcoming year. Storage planning benefits from having as good a set of predictions as possible available under these foggy conditions. One thing is certain: change.

Around the first of each year, IT managers, press and vendors ask industry analysts (such as those at Aberdeen) to predict the next year's important storage trends. The request sounds simple, but it really is not. Are predictions expected on what IT organizations will buy, on what IT organizations will do, on what topics will attract the greatest press or on what long-term behavioral/structural changes are likely to become recognized as essential? Because organizations will be making decisions now that will affect their storage infrastructure today and may make an impact on the flexible evolution of a future storage architecture, the answer is all of the above.

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