Global data usage figures predicted to soar in 2010

The latest statistics suggest another record year for global data output, with a total of 1.2 Zettabytes set to be produced over the course of 2010 by businesses and individuals around the world.

The Interactive Data Corp (IDC) has published this information in a report that asks whether firms are ready to face what it is calling the Digital Universe Decade.

A Zettabyte is the equivalent of a trillion gigabytes, or in current pop culture terms, the same volume of data that could be stored on about 75 billion Apple iPads with 16GB of capacity.

Between 2008 and 2009 the annual global data output grew by 62 per cent, according to IDC. This rate of growth shows no signs of slowing, and to give some perspective, the figures have also been translated into terms that will be comprehensible to social networking fans. 1.2 Zettabytes is equivalent to the volume of data that the entire global population would produce if everyone used Twitter non-stop for a century.

The boom in data storage requirements that will be seen as a result of increased data volumes is believed to mean that in ten years time there will be many more professionals working in the IT industry than there are today. However, this will be a relatively small increase compared to the capacity of the data storage solutions that will exist in a decade, with at least a 62 per cent increase predicted.

The most telling fact noted by IDC is that the global community is already producing 35 per cent more data than there is available storage. This discrepancy is only set to grow, with a 60 per cent overflow rate being predicted within the next few years.

Experts believe that this seemingly insurmountable growth in the data storage requirements of businesses will mean that switching to cloud-based solutions will be the only viable option to maintain effective operation.

IDC says that 80 per cent of the world’s data output is stored by businesses, despite the fact that the creation of 70 per cent of the total annual data can be attributed to individuals. It also says that firms that adopt social media tools for internal use will also bear a greater proportion of this growth as a result.

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