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EMC Digital Universe Data Growth Study Projects Nearly 45-Fold Annual Data Growth By 2020

Report projects that the number of files, images, records and other digital information containers will grow by a factor of 67, each needing to be managed, secured and protected. 

Report projects that the number of files, images, records and other digital information containers will grow by a factor of 67, each needing to be managed, secured and protected. 

EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC), today announced results of the latest EMC study titled “The Digital Universe Decade – Are You Ready?” Sponsored by EMC and conducted by IDC, the fourth update to the Digital Universe data growth rate study measures and forecasts the amount of digital information created and copied annually and its implications for individuals and Information Technology professionals worldwide.

According to the study, in 2009, the amount of digital information grew 62% over 2008 to 800 billion gigabytes.

The projected amount of digital information created in 2010 will equal:

• 75 billion fully-loaded 16 GB Apple iPads

• A full-length episode of FOX TV’s hit series “24” running continuously for 125 million years

• The digital information created by every man, woman and child on Earth “Tweeting” continuously for 100 years

• 707 trillion copies of the more than 2,000-page U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed into Law in March 2010.

The report also projects that the number of files, images, records and other digital information containers will grow by a factor of 67, each needing to be managed, secured and protected. Despite this growth, the number of IT professionals globally will grow only by a factor of 1.4. The cumulative effect is driving CIOs to seek out new levels of agility, efficiency and control by moving quickly toward private cloud computing environments.

One-Third of All Digital Information will Live In or Pass Through the Cloud

• The amount of digital information created annually will grow by a factor of 44 from 2009 to 2020, as all major forms of media — voice, TV, radio, print — complete the journey from analog to digital.

• By 2020, more than 1/3rd of all digital information created annually will either live in or pass through the cloud.

• Based on the use of cloud computing services by companies to reduce the portion of their IT budget devoted to legacy system maintenance, IDC estimates that the increase in IT dollars spent on innovation could drive more than $1 trillion in increased business revenues between now and the end of 2014. This projection will increase substantially as private cloud and other cloud computing models move into mainstream adoption.

• By 2020, the percent of digital information requiring security beyond baseline levels will grow from 30% to 50%. • 35% more digital information is created today than the capacity exists to store it. This number will jump to over 60% over the next several years.

More than 70% of the Digital Universe is generated by individuals. But enterprises have responsibility for the storage, protection, and management of 80% of the Digital Universe. This enterprise liability will only increase as social networking and Web 2.0 technologies continue to invade the enterprise.

EMC Digital Data Report

Joe Tucci, Chairman and CEO, EMC Corporation said, “This year’s Digital Universe study exposes many of the most pressing short- and longer-term strategic issues CIOs grapple with as they map out their IT strategies and investments. They’re quickly discovering that, to remain in the game, they need to do things differently, transforming traditional infrastructures into private cloud data centers that offer internal and external customers IT as a service. Private cloud computing, the next major wave of IT, takes them there, promising new and increasingly automated ways for enterprises and consumers to manage and secure this unyielding onslaught of information.”

A full presentation of the study is available online at:

Written By

For more than 10 years, Mike Lennon has been closely monitoring the threat landscape and analyzing trends in the National Security and enterprise cybersecurity space. In his role at SecurityWeek, he oversees the editorial direction of the publication and is the Director of several leading security industry conferences around the world.

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