Though the dot-com crash took a toll on the business, the North American storage service provider (SSP) market is projected to grow from $176 million in 2000 to over $6 billion in 2004.

The SSP industry was bracing for even stronger growth, but the recent failures of many dot-com companies, among other factors, has lowered expectations. "Many SSPs viewed dot-com organizations as among the most likely candidates for storage utility services because they frequently came to market with little or no infrastructure and even less IT talent," says Adam Couture, a senior analyst for Gartner Dataquest's IT services worldwide group, which issued the spending forecast.

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