The Digital Universe Decade, Are You Ready?
Between now and 2020, the amount of digital information created and replicated in the world will grow to an almost inconceivable 35 trillion gigabytes as all major forms of media voice, TV, radio, print complete the journey from analog to digital.
The Digital Universe Decade, Are ...
IDC_925 I D C ��� I V I E W The Digital Universe Decade ��� Are You Ready? May 2010 By John Gantz and David Reinsel Sponsored by EMC Corporation Content for this paper is excerpted directly from the IDC iView, "The Digital Universe Decade ��� Are You Ready?" May 2010, sponsored by EMC. The multimedia content can be viewed at http://www.emc.com/digital_universe The Digital Universe Decade ���You Ain���t Seen Nothing Yet.��� The title of that track from the 1974 Bachman-Turner Overdrive album Not Fragile aptly describes the state of today���s Digital Universe. Between now and 2020, the amount of digital information created and replicated in the world will grow to an almost inconceivable 35 trillion gigabytes as all major forms of media ��� voice, TV, radio, print ��� complete the journey from analog to digital. At the same time, the influx of consumer technologies into the workplace will create stresses and strains on the organizations that must manage, store, protect, and dispose of all this electronic content. So, if you have ever suffered from information overload or been bombarded with emails, texts, instant messages, documents, pictures, videos, and social network invitations, get ready, this is just the beginning. Since 2007, on behalf of EMC Corporation, IDC has been sizing what it calls the Digital Universe, or the amount of digital information created and replicated in a year. Here are just a few points to whet your appetite for the rest of the tabs in this IDC iView: ��� Last year, despite the global recession, the Digital Universe set a record. It grew by 62% to nearly 800,000 petabytes. A petabyte is a million gigabytes. Picture a stack of DVDs reaching from the earth to the moon and back. ��� This year, the Digital Universe will grow almost as fast to 1.2 million petabytes, or 1.2 zettabytes. (There���s a word we haven���t had to use until now.) ��� This explosive growth means that by 2020, our Digital Universe will be 44 TIMES AS BIG as it was in 2009 (Figure 1). Our stack of DVDs would now reach halfway to Mars.
��2010 IDC 2 Here���s another question for you. What comes after a quadrillion? That���s right, a quintillion, an incomprehensible number, yet the one you need to describe the number of information containers ��� packets, files, images, records, signals ��� that the bits in the Digital Universe will be in by 2020. There will be 25 quintillion containers. These containers, the files if you will, are the things that are actually managed, protected, and stored in the Digital Universe. And, because of the growth of embedded systems in the smart grid, smart cities, logistic item tracking, and so on, the average file size in the universe is getting smaller. The number of things to be managed is growing twice as fast as the total number of gigabytes. Good luck, all you CIOs out there. Think of the growth of the Digital Universe as a perpetual tsunami. As this universe grows by an order of magnitude, we will have to deal with information in new ways: ��� How will we find the information we need when we need it? We will need new search and discovery tools. Most of the Digital Universe is unstructured data (for example, images and voice packets). We will need new ways to add structure to unstructured data, to look INSIDE the information containers and recognize content such as a face in a security video. In fact, the fastest-growing category in the Digital Universe is metadata, or data about data. ��� How will we know what information we need to keep, and how will we keep it? Yes, we will need new technical solutions tied to storage, but we will surely also need new ways to manage our information. We���ll need to classify it by importance, know when to delete it, and predict which information we will need in a hurry.
��2010 IDC 3 ��� How will we follow the growing number of government and industry rules about retaining records, tracking transactions, and ensuring information privacy? Compliance with regulations has become an entire industry ��� a $46 billion industry last year ��� but will it be enough? ��� How will we protect the information we need to protect? If the amount of information in the Digital Universe is growing at 50% a year or so, the subset of information that needs to be secured is growing almost twice as fast. The amount of UNPROTECTED yet sensitive data is growing even faster. As we contemplate the growth of the Digital Universe, these are some of the things we need to think about: ��� New search tools ��� Ways to add structure to unstructured data ��� New storage and information management techniques ��� More compliance tools ��� Better security There are plenty of others, including the role of cloud computing, the consumerization of the workplace, the growing share of the Digital Universe coming from China and India, and the growing diversity ��� in content type and container type ��� of the Digital Universe. Here is another statistic to keep in mind before you start reviewing our other findings: Although the amount of information in the Digital Universe will grow by a factor of 44, and the number of containers or files will grow by a factor of 67 from 2009 to 2020, the number of IT professionals in the world will grow only by a factor of 1.4. Big changes are coming. Information in the Clouds By 2020, a significant portion of the Digital Universe will be centrally hosted, managed, or stored in public or private repositories that today we call ���cloud services.��� And even if a byte in the Digital Universe does not ���live in the cloud��� permanently, it will, in all likelihood, pass through the cloud at some point in its life. There are almost as many definitions of cloud services as there are vendors trying to gain advantage by offering them. But in the IDC definition, they require availability over a network, consumption on-demand with pay-as-you-go billing, and some level of user control and system openness that separates cloud services from simple online delivery of content. It���s software as a service, not downloading software programs. It���s watching on-demand Internet TV, not merely downloading Netflix videos. At the same time, cloud services can be offered as a shared common functionality (public cloud) or as a private version (private cloud), where an organization maintains complete control of all of the IT resources and how they are managed and secured. The latter can even be offered within the enterprise itself. Although IDC has only sized the market for IT functionality ��� hardware, software, services ��� delivered over the public cloud at this point, a look at the makeup of the Digital Universe by content type ��� entertainment, financial transaction, medical information, and user-generated
25 Readers on Mendeley
by Academic Status
28% Ph.D. Student
24% Student (Master)
12% Student (Postgraduate)
16% United States