Data creation will swell to a total of 163 zettabytes (ZB) by 2025 – a ten-fold increase in today’s numbers, according to a new whitepaper from IDC.
Analysis of the figures concludes that, “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 predicts that the amount of data that consumers and businesses are creating, sharing and accessing on devices and the cloud will continue to grow “well beyond previous expectations”.
The research also predicts that enterprises will take over consumers as the primary creators of data, and that by 2025 businesses will create 60 percent of the world’s data.
The report finds, “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.”
The Data 2025 whitepaper identifies the following trends as driving the predictions:
- The evolution of data from business background to life-critical: By 2025, nearly 20 percent of data globally 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 – that’s an interaction every 18 seconds.
- Machine learning changing the landscape: IDC estimates that the amount of data 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 creation away from traditional sources: While data creation in the previous 10 years has been characterized primarily by an increase in entertainment content, 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.
IDC’s Dave Reinsel comments, “From autonomous cars to intelligent personal assistants, data is the lifeblood of a rapidly growing digital existence – opening up opportunities previously unimagined by businesses. 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.”
Steve Luczo, CEO of Seagate (which sponsored the whitepaper) adds, “While we can see from this new research that the era of big data is upon us, the value of data is really not in the ‘known’, but in the ‘unknown’ where we are vastly underestimating the potentials today. 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.
“The opportunity for today’s enterprises and tomorrow’s entrepreneurs to capture the value of data is tremendous, and our global business leaders will be exploring these opportunities for decades to come.”