|World’s data more than doubling every two years—driving ‘big data’ opportunity, new IT roles|
July 6, 2011
The world’s information is more than doubling every two years—with a colossal 1.8 zettabytes to be created and replicated in 2011. That means data is growing faster than Moore’s Law, according to a study by IDC Corp, sponsored by cloud computing enabler EMC Corp.
The study’s fifth anniversary, measuring and forecasting the amount of digital information created and copied annually—analyzing the implications for individuals, enterprises, and IT professionals—has huge economic, social and technology implications.
The forces behind this relentless growth are driven by technology and money. New “information taming” technologies are driving the cost of creating, capturing, managing, and storing information down to one-sixth of what it was in 2005. Additionally, since 2005 annual enterprise investments in the digital universe—cloud, hardware, software, services, and staff to create, manage, store and generate revenue from the information—have increased 50% to $4 trillion.
IT resources lagging—Despite the $4 trillion investment since 2005, IDC notes that the skills, experience, and resources to manage the deluge of data and resources simply isn’t keeping pace with all areas of growth. Over the next decade (by 2020), IT departments worldwide will experience:
• 10 times the number of servers (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, which is growing even faster than the information itself as more and more embedded systems are introduced, such as sensors in clothing, in bridges, or medical devices.
• 1.5X the number of IT professionals available to manage it all.
Cloud computing cost and operational efficiency—While cloud computing accounts for less than 2% of IT spending today, IDC estimates that by 2015 nearly 20% of the information will be “touched” by cloud computing service providers—meaning that somewhere in a byte’s journey from originator to disposal it will be stored or processed in a cloud. Perhaps as much as 10% will be maintained in a cloud.
The digital shadow has a mind of its own—The amount of information individuals create themselves—writing documents, taking pictures, downloading music, etc.—is far less than the amount of information being created about them in the digital universe.
The liability and responsibility is with enterprises—While 75% of the information in the digital universe is generated by individuals, enterprises have some liability for 80% of information in the digital universe at some point in its digital life.
“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 Corp. “Big data is forcing change in the way businesses manage and extract value from their most important asset—information.”
Other key findings
• New capture, search, discovery, and analysis tools can help organizations gain insights from their unstructured data, which accounts for more than 90% of the digital universe. These tools can create data about data automatically, much like facial recognition routines that help tag Facebook photos. Data about data, or metadata, is growing twice as fast as the digital universe as a whole.
• Business intelligence tools increasingly are dealing with real-time data, whether it’s charging auto insurance premiums based on where people drive, routing power through the intelligent grid, or changing marketing messages on the fly based on social networking responses.
• New storage management tools are available to cut the costs of the part of the digital universe we store, such as de-duplication, auto-tiering and virtualization, as well as to help us decide what exactly to store, as in content management solutions.
• New security practices and tools can help enterprises identify the information that needs to be secured and at what level of security, and then do so from specific threat protection devices and software to fraud management systems and reputation protection services.
• Cloud computing solutions—both public and private and a combination of the two known as hybrid—provide enterprises with new levels of economies of scale, agility, and flexibility, compared to traditional IT environments. Long term this will be a key tool for dealing with the complexity of the digital universe. Cloud computing is enabling the consumption of IT-as-a-service. Couple that with the big data phenomenon, and organizations increasingly will be motivated to consume IT as an external service versus internal infrastructure investments.
• The growth of the digital universe continues to outpace the growth of storage capacity. But keep in mind that a gigabyte of stored content can generate a petabyte or more of transient data that we typically don’t store (e.g., digital TV signals we watch but don’t record, voice calls that are made digital in the network backbone for the duration of a call).
• Data security is lagging. 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.
| TechTopics Plus