Data to see tenfold increase worldwide by 2025

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The amount of data created worldwide will increase by tenfold by 2025, and organizations will have to choose what portion of that data to manage, and how. Organizations that don’t manage this data deluge correctly could lose revenue, provide poor customer experiences, and suffer operational inefficiencies.

Those are among the conclusions of a new white paper by International Data Corp (IDC) entitled “Data Age 2025.” IDC predicts that data creation will swell to a total of 163 zettabytes (ZB) by 2025.

“The decade centered around the conversion of analog data to digital is being replaced by an era focused on the value of data; creating, utilizing, and managing ‘life critical’ data necessary for the smooth running of daily life for consumers, governments and businesses alike,” IDC says. “Consumers and businesses creating, sharing and accessing data between any device and the cloud will continue to grow well beyond previous expectations.”

One of the biggest shifts will come in the sources of new data. Consumers were once the primary creators of the bulk of the world’s data. Data Age 2025 predicts this will shift, with enterprises creating 60 percent of the world’s data in 2025.

“From autonomous cars to intelligent personal assistants, data is the lifeblood of a rapidly growing digital existence – opening up opportunities previously unimagined by businesses,” explains Dave Reinsel, senior vice president at IDC. “Technology innovation will be vitally important to evaluate and fully activate the intricacies of what’s contained within this large volume of data – and storage in particular will continue to grow in importance, as it provides the foundation from which so many of these emerging technologies will be served.”

“Business leaders will have the opportunity to embrace new and unique business opportunities powered by this wealth of data and the insight it provides but will also need to make strategic choices on data collection, utilization and location,” Reinsel says.

Virtually every organization is being affected by major data-driving trends, the white paper explains. These include:

The evolution of data from business background to life-critical

“By 2025, nearly 20 percent of the data in the global data sphere will be critical to our daily lives and nearly 10 percent of that will be hypercritical.”

Embedded systems and the Internet of Things (IoT)

By 2025, an average connected person anywhere in the world will interact with connected devices nearly 4,800 times per day – basically one interaction every 18 seconds.”

Machine learning changing the landscape

“The amount of the global data sphere subject to data analysis will grow by a factor of 50, to 5.2 ZB in 2025.”

True mobile and real-time data

By 2025, more than a quarter of data created will be real-time in nature, and IoT real-time data will constitute over 95 percent of it.”

Automation and machine-to-machine technologies shifting the bulk of data

“The coming decade will reflect the shift to productivity-driven and embedded data, as well as non-entertainment images and video such as surveillance and advertising.”

Asked to comment on IDC’s predictions, one data storage company says the key for managing the data deluge is for organizations to focus on storing small sets of data that have significant business impact – rather than on everything and anything.

“The value of data is really not in the ‘known’, but in the ‘unknown’ where we are vastly underestimating the potentials today,” says Steve Luczo, chief executive officer at Seagate. “What is really exciting are the analytics, the new businesses, the new thinking and new ecosystems from industries like robotics and machine-to-machine learning, and their profound social and economic impact on our society,”

“Organizations should increase their focus on the mega trends driving data growth over the next several years, and examine their business' course for the future value of data from creation, collection, utilization and management,” Luczo says.

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