Digital output this year to equal 75 billion Apple iPads

The amount of digital information produced globally in 2010 would fill 75 billion fully-loaded 16GB Apple iPads, according to a new study.


The amount of digital information produced globally in 2010 would fill 75 billion fully-loaded 16GB Apple iPads, according to a new study.

IDC revealed that 1.2 Zettabytes of digital information would be produced this year, in its EMC Corporation-sponsored “The Digital Universe Decade – Are You Ready?” study, which measures and forecasts the growth of data in the world. One Zettabyte is equal to one trillion gigabytes.

In 2009, the amount of digital data had increased a 62 percent from 800 billion gigabytes (0.8 Zettabytes) from 2008. IDC predicted that this year’s amount would equal the amount of digital information created if every single person on earth ‘tweeted’ continuously for 100 years.

IDC also predicted that the number of digital information containers will grow by a factor of 67 by 2020, while the number of IT professionals around the world will only grow by a factor of 1.4. Furthermore, 35 percent more digital information is created today than there is capacity to store it – which IDC said will jump to over 60 percent over the next few years.

These are reportedly key drivers for CIOs moving towards private cloud computing environments in search of “new levels of agility, efficiency and control”. The analyst house predicted that in ten years’ time, more than a third of all digital information created each year will either live in or pass through the cloud.

Meanwhile, to deal with the expected huge growth in digital information in the world, the study said that IT professionals will need to address a range of data issues, such as more compliance tools and better security. They will also need to come up with new search tools, methods of adding structure to unstructured data and new storage techniques.

IDC highlighted that these issues will become an increasing concern for businesses in particular. Although individuals create more than 70 percent of the ‘digital universe’, the study said that businesses are responsible for the storage, protection and management of 80 percent of it, a responsibility that will increase as social networking and Web 2.0 technologies “continue to invade the enterprise”.

Joe Tucci, chairman and CEO of EMC Corporation, said: “They’re [CIOs] quickly discovering that, to remain in the game, they need to do things differently, transforming traditional infrastructures into private cloud data centres that offer internal and external customers IT as a service. Private cloud computing takes them there, promising new and increasingly automated ways for enterprises and consumers to manage and secure this unyielding onslaught of information.”

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