Japanese electronics giant Hitachi is set to outsouce storage to multinational companies.

The company, which acquired IBM's disk drive manufacturing arm more than two years ago, is set to provide storage capabilities, either remotely through its data centres or directly by installing its own equipment in customers' facilities.

"We are moving into this business because our customers want us to do so," said Mituso Yamaguchi, chief strategy officer for information and telecommunication systems at Hitachi. "They want to take advantage of our research and development capability and our in-depth understanding of storage technology."

Initially, Hitachi will provide data storage services to companies in its domestic Japanese market as well as Japanese multinational companies, according to Yamaguchi. "For the global market, we don't have any plans yet," he said. "But multinational companies are global, so we will see how business with them develops first."

Asked whether Hitachi's move into the storage services market might upset its service provider customers already operating in this sector, Yamaguchi said no, "the outsourcing market is expanding."