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Businesses must sharpen up before data swell, study shows

A decade that was centered around the conversion of analog data to digital is being replaced by an era focused on the value of data.

That is, the creating, utilising and managing of “life critical” data necessary for the daily life of consumers and businesses.

This idea is the result of the IDC white paper, Data Age 2025, where data creation is predicted to increase dramatically to a total of 163 zettabytes (ZB) by 2025.

Moreover, the number of businesses creating, sharing and accessing data between any device and the cloud are expected to continue to grow.

The paper, sponsored by Seagate, casts another prediction: where once customers were the primary creators of the world’s data, by 2025 enterprises will be responsible for 60% of the world’s data.

According to the paper, as businesses embrace the new opportunities that come with this shift in data, they need to make strategic choices on data collection, utilisation and location.

IDC SVP Dave Reinsel says that data is the “lifeblood” of our rapidly growing digital existence that will provide 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.”   

This data-driving trend will affect essentially every enterprise, the white paper indicates. The report goes on to note the main drivers in the shift from primarily consumer-led to enterprise-driven data.

One driver is the evolution of data from business background to life critical. By 2025, the report predicts that nearly 20% of the data in the global datasphere will be classed as critical to daily life.

Another driver is the rise of true mobile and real-time data. The paper predicts that by 2025 more than a quarter of data created will be real-time in nature, and IoT real-time data will constitute over 95% of it.

The report highlights the move of the bulk of data from traditional sources to automation and machine-to-machine technologies as another driver. 

Steve Luczo, CEO of Seagate, comments, “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.”

Luczo adds, “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.”

The report states that while data creation in the previous 10 years has been characterised 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.

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