Monday, March 17, 2008

New Report on the Exploding Digital Universe

The research firm IDC (International Data Corporation) has just released The Diverse and Exploding Digital Universe, An Updated Forecast of Worldwide Information Growth Through 2011.

As the title indicates, this is an update of IDC’s original forecast of the digital universe published in March 2007.

The 16-page white paper predicts that the amount of digital information produced worldwide in 2011 will be 10 times that produced in 2006. This makes for a compound annual growth rate of close to 60%.

The drivers will be mobility, interactivity, growing social networks, rapidly accelerating Net access in developing countries, real-time information from technologies such as surveillance cameras and RFID-equipped objects, user-created content, and new regulatory compliance demands.

Some of the more interesting thoughts in the white paper:
  • "... only about half of the digital footprint would be related to individual actions — taking pictures, making VoIP phone calls, uploading videos to YouTube, downloading digital content, and so on. We called the remainder 'ambient' content. It is digital images of you on a surveillance camera and records in banking, brokerage, retail, airline, telephone, and medical databases. It is information about Web searches and general backup data." Organizations and enterprises will need to spend more and more to ensure information is secure against breaches, yet few are ready to integrate these new data types into their information management procedures.
  • the rate of growth in the amount of information that "might be subject to significant requirements for security; be subject to legal and compliance requirements such as ediscovery, ... or Sarbanes-Oxley; or be valuable enough to expect to store for 10 years or more" is assumed by the authors to be "much faster than the 10-times-in-five-years growth of the overall digital universe."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:40 pm

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