“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.
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