New IDC Digital Universe study, "Big Data, Bigger Digital Shadows, and Biggest Growth in the Far East" (sponsored by EMC) finds that only a tiny fraction of the world's Big Data potential is being realized, though the amount of useful data is expanding.
IDC projects that by 2020 the digital universe will reach 40 zettabytes (ZB), which is 40 trillion GB of data, or 5,200 GB of data for every person on Earth. This amount exceeds previous forecasts by 5 ZBs, resulting in a 50-fold growth from the beginning of 2010.
This year's study marks the first time IDC was able to capture where the information in the digital universe either originated or was first captured or consumed, revealing some dramatic shifts currently underway.
The amount of data that requires protection is growing faster than the digital universe itself, yet levels of protection are not keeping pace.
According to the study, 2.8ZB of data will have been created and replicated in 2012.
Machine-generated data is a key driver in the growth of the world's data - which is projected to increase 15x by 2020.
By 2020, emerging markets will supplant the developed world as the main producer of the world's data.
The investment in spending on IT hardware, software, services, telecommunications and staff that could be considered the "infrastructure" of the digital universe will grow by 40% between 2012 and 2020. Investment in targeted areas like storage management, security, Big Data, and cloud computing will grow considerably faster.
Here is the interactive version of Digital Universe in 2020 report.
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