Spending Review – Disaster or Opportunity for Innovation?

Wednesday and Thursday of this week have certainly been tumultuous for us as much as anybody, not just in that we finally found out just how much less money will be in circulation in the next 4 years (if you don’t count all the Quantative Easing funny money that still may be cranked up again), but it also coincided with the IPExpo 2010. This exhibition has expanded to become the largest of it’s kind in the UK, providing the ability to find vendors from the full spectrum of IT services for business.

We chose this venue to make the first public ‘launch’ of the Ethernet SAN range of equipment from Coraid, although their products have been available in the UK for some time this was the first show they have attended in the UK, and it helped to capitalise on the brand marketing we have been doing for the last few months. Now at least people could put a product to a name they have seen around, and in general it seemed to be well received.

So midway through day 1 the news changed the landscape for IT vendors quite significantly. Public organisations used to being soaked in money during the days of Gordon Brown are now facing significant cuts in their budgets, and yet the need to continue developing IT services has never been more important to try and drive through efficiencies.

I noted somewhat of a sombre mood amongst vendors incumbent in this space, fearing what it could do to their business, but from a point of view of a company like Coraid this might be the best chance to make a serious headway into this market.

Coraid products directly compete with the major fibre SAN vendors at a price point that allows organisations to still carry out their requirements for storage growth at a vastly reduced budget. In some cases a budget reduction of 75% may not be a show stopper for the project that really needs to go ahead to enable other money saving initiatives such as virtualisation.

Technology is far advanced of where it was in the 90s when we last faced economic downturn, and certainly way in advance of the troubled times of the 70s – this is a different world now.
There is no doubt that the Government will press ahead with it’s debt reduction programme, it is now a chance for the IT industry to use innovation to be able to take advantage of opportunities that are still there – the public sector is still spending, just not as much.

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