IDC says data is exploding
Amount of digital information produced globally is doubling every two years, according to study
The EMC-sponsored IDC Digital Universe study, Extracting Value from Chaos, has revealed that the amount of digital information produced globally is doubling every two years.
According to the fifth edition of the study, a colossal 1.8 zettabytes of digital data will be created and replicated in 2011.
In terms of sheer volume, 1.8 zettabytes of data is equivalent to every person in the United States tweeting three tweets per minute for 26,976 years nonstop or the amount of information needed to fill 57.5 billion 32GB Apple iPads.
With that many iPads, the Great iPad Wall of China could be built, at twice the average height of the original, or a six metre high wall could be built around South America.
The data boom is being driven by new technologies, which are driving the cost of creating, capturing, managing and storing information down to one-sixth of what it was in 2005.
Since 2005 annual enterprise investments in the digital universe, such as cloud, hardware, software, services, and staff to create, manage, store and generate revenue from the information, have increased 50% to $4 trillion.
According to the IDC survey, there are not enough people with the correct skills, experience, and resources to manage the deluge of data and keep pace with growth.
By 2020, the IDC has predicted that IT departments worldwide will face ten times the number of servers - both virtual and physical, 50 times the amount of information to be managed, 75 times the number of files or containers that encapsulate the information in the digital universe, more embedded systems - such as sensors in clothing, in bridges, or medical devices and 1.5 times the number of IT professionals available to manage it all.
The IDC has also predicted that by 2015, nearly 20% of all digital information will be touched by cloud computing providers, compared to 2% now.
The IDC says that as much as 10% of digital information will be maintained in a cloud by 2015.
"The chaotic volume of information that continues growing relentlessly presents an endless amount of opportunity - driving transformational societal, technological, scientific, and economic changes," said Jeremy Burton, chief marketing officer, EMC Corporation. "Big Data is forcing change in the way businesses manage and extract value from their most important asset - information. EMC is at an ideal crossroad to help our customers-from the world's largest enterprises to governments to small businesses-exploit the hidden value in the digital universe as they continue on their journey to the cloud."
Seventy-five percent of information in the digital universe is generated by individuals, but enterprises have responsibility for 80% of the information in the digital universe at some point in its digital life.
The IDC study has revealed that new capture, search, discovery, and analysis tools can help organisations gain insight from their unstructured data, which accounts for more than 90% of the digital universe.
These tools are designed to be able to create data from data, or metadata, automatically. Metadata, is growing twice as fast as the digital universe as a whole.
According to the IDC, the growth of the digital universe will continue to outpace the growth of storage capacity, and less than a third of the information in the digital universe can be said to have at least minimal security or protection; only about half the information that should be protected is protected.