The world’s data is doubling every two years. That’s the headline finding of a new report by the market research firm IDC.
The velocity of the surge has been likened to a tsunami.
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If one were to try to stack this deluge of digital data inside consumer friendly products, it would be a sizeable challenge says Cyrus Gilbert-Rolfe of EMC, the consultancy that funded the report.
“It’s an extraordinary amount of data. On an annual basis we’re talking enough data to fill 57.5 billion 32 GB iPads. Which, if it helps you picture it – imagine rebuilding the Great Wall of China at twice its height it is today out of 32 gigabyte iPads. That’s how much data we’re talking about.”
The study forecasts 1.8 zettabytes – or 1.8 trillion gigabytes – of digital data will be created and replicated in 2011.
Seventy-five percent of that is being generated by individuals. But enterprises are responsible for about 80 percent of that data throughout some point of its life. The authors of this report suggest that presents both challenges and opportunities.
“People are dealing with real-time analytics now. The days of leisurely looking over business information results from batch data that has been produced over the previous weeks are kind of creating a competitive disadvantage for most brands today. Usually I want to have as close to a real-time possible view of the performance of the network I’m working within and the performance of my customers… that’s one area. The other one that’s going to impact IT departments hard but will be of huge benefit is the explosion of machine to machine communications.”
That will be critical because while server space is predicted to grow tenfold by 2020, the number of IT staff is only forecast to increase by one and a half percent.
Bottom line: A new study by the market research firm IDC finds that the world’s data is doubling every two years, posing new challenges to businesses seeking to manage information flow.