Incredible volumes of data are being created every single day, and as more devices get connected the volume will increase in multiple folds. According to the Harvard Business Review, as of 2012 about 2.5 exabytes of data is created each and every day. They also went on to say that number doubles about every 40 months. To put that into perspective, an exabyte is one billion gigabytes. The information that is being created every day has to be processed and made available so it can be used efficiently. For some applications this information has to be processed in real-time or near real-time. The IDC (News - Alert) Digital Universe Study, sponsored by EMC, has revealed the true potential and challenges of big data that is still ahead of us.
The IDC Digital Universe study, “Big Data, Bigger Digital Shadows, and Biggest Growth in the Far East,” pointed out that an estimated 0.5 percent of the data is currently being analyzed. The study revealed that the digital universe has doubled in the past two years to an astounding 2.8 ZB – one zetabyte equals 1024 exabytes. The number of new digital technology globally means it will increase to 40 ZB by 2020 and according to IDC projections that amount has exceeded the previous forecast by 14 percent.
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As the amount of data not being analyzed increases, the amount of data in need of protection is also increasing faster. Protection mechanisms that are in place are not able to keep pace with what is being created. While all information is not sensitive, M2M communication and other sensitive data created by power plants, medical facilities, financial institutions and government organizations are susceptible to attacks because of the data they generate.
The study also said investment in big data, cloud computing and storage management will grow significantly faster, and IT hardware, services, software, telecommunications and staff will grow by 40 percent between 2012 and 2020. Big data is expected to increase worldwide IT spending from $28 billion in 2012 to $34 billion in 2013.
When properly optimized, big data gives organization the tools they need to make decisions faster that are more accurate. The structured and unstructured data that is being gathered every day is an opportunity to find actionable insight in that information that can bring about positive change. Big data can be used not only to improve how businesses function, but also how society can improve how it does everything from trash collection to flu vaccinations.
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