Are spinning hard drives losing ground to flash and cloud options?

In a recent article by Chris Mellor on The Register’s site, it is noted that certain segments of the hard drive market are hurting and blame was given to the rise of tablets, flash drives, and a growing dependence on the cloud for storage. I totally agree with the premise that spinning media in consumer devices is losing interest for users. Not many people generate their own content anymore, web-based streaming of entertainment is reducing demand for massive media libraries in people’s homes, and more reliable and faster flash storage has reach a price-point where even average consumers can skip the spinning hard drive in favor of flash.

While the demand for spinning hard drives might be dwindling in mainstream consumer devices, the demand for massive amounts of storage in the overall information industry is not showing any signs of shrinking. In fact, demand is growing. What is changing is a shift of where that data is stored. Once we kept everything ourselves; today we just let it live out there somewhere. Most people don’t download all their email inboxes to their personal computers. Instead they access their inboxes via web services on their smartphones. So, if you send someone a file, it doesn’t get downloaded and kept on their PC, it is viewed of the web then closed. If they want to see that file again, they access it from their online inbox. Those massive data centers used by web service providers need to grow to keep all that data. Businesses and institutions have the same problem.

People are less inclined to keep things on their PCs anymore. Instead they put them on SharePoint servers or in web directories. The world is changing and how we consume, keep, and maintain data is driving a considerable amount of that change.

How do you use your data? Where is it right now?

Send me a note, I’d love to understand this better.

About the Author: Franklin Flint