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Big Data in 2020

New IDC study suggests 50% of data is unprotected

One of the things I look forward to most at Christmastime is the seemingly endless parade of predictions and year-in-review columns. You see them everywhere:

The Ten Best movies of 2012

2012: The Year in Bacon

Ten Brilliant, Surefire, Can’t-Miss Business Predictions for 2013

A Crystal Ball on the Cloud

Heck, we just issued a predictions release earlier this week. The bottom line is when I see a list, there’s a good chance I’m going to read it and tweet it, regardless of what it's about.

Speaking of which, IDC and EMC just released a cool report called “The Digital Universe in 2020, that looks at the state of Big Data eight years from now. See below for a list of interesting insights. My only nit is that a report that looks forward to 2020 should at least contain one section about flying cars and our benevolent robot overlords.

  • By 2020, the digital universe will grow to 40,000 exabytes, or 40 trillion gigabytes (more than 5,200 gigabytes for every man, woman, and child in 2020). From now until 2020, the digital universe will about double every two years.
  • By 2020, nearly 40% of the information in the digital universe will be "touched" by cloud  computing providers — meaning that a byte will be stored or processed in a cloud somewhere in its journey from originator to disposal. Perhaps as much as 15% will be maintained in a cloud.
  • The proportion of data in the digital universe that requires protection is growing faster than the digital universe itself, from less than a third in 2010 to more than 40% in 2020.
  • Today, only about half the information that needs protection has protection. That may improve slightly by 2020, as some of the better-secured information categories will grow faster than the digital universe itself, but it still means that the amount of unprotected data will grow by a factor of 26.
  • By 2020, a third of the data in the digital universe (more than 13,000 exabytes) will have Big Data value, but only if it is tagged and analyzed. In 2012, we believe 23% of the information in the digital universe (or 643 exabytes) would be useful for Big Data if it were tagged and analyzed. However, technology is far from where it needs to be, and in practice, we think only 3% of the potentially useful data is tagged, and even less is analyzed.

More Stories By David Tishgart

After spending years at large corporations including Dell, AMD and BMC, David Tishgart joined the startup ranks leading product marketing for Gazzang. Focused on security for big data, he helps communicate the benefits and challenges that big data can present, offering practical solutions. When not ranting about encryption and key management, you can find David clamoring for a big data application that can fine tune his fantasy football team.