I’ve just read a fascinating article in The Times of 22nd October which starts out by saying, “The world is ‘drowning in data’ and computing companies are running out of space to store it…”
Some of the interesting numbers that came out of the article:
- By 2016, the number of devices connected to the internet will be 3x the global population (so, well over 20 billion devices) – that’s up from 9 billion today, itself an eightfold increase in seven years, with the num
ber expected to reach a staggering 50 billion by 2020.
- Global IP traffic in 2016 will reach about 120 exabytes / month. That’s 120 million terabytes (or, if you prefer, 120 billion gigabytes) of data every month – and almost 10% is expected to be mobile data.
- And, if you think YouTube has too much video on nowadays, by 2016 estimates are the 20 000 hours of video will cross the internet every second!
Already this year we’ve seen the explosion of tablets and smartphones – not just in numbers, but in data traffic, too, with the average tablet expected to handle some 4 gigabytes of data every month, up 8x from last year, and the average smartphone to be handling around 2.5 gigabytes of data a month, about 16x more than last year.
This pace of growth indicates both devices overtaking laptops for data traffic in the next year or so as laptops are ‘only’ handling around 7 gigabytes a month, little more than 3x up on last year.
So, we’re creating vast amounts of information but what are we doing with it all? Seemingly, it’s going into enormous storage pools as another recent article in Microscope (19th October) pointed to a significant skills gap when it came to the ability of companies to handle this level of information – ‘Big Data’ as it’s referred to.
Although the article points to research showing that almost 2/3rds of UK business understood the competitive advantages of being able to utilise this data (nearly twice the number of firms in 2010), less than a quarter believe they have the ability to analyse all the unstructured data streaming in.
So, not only do we have a growing issue with storing all this exponentially increasing data traffic, but we’re largely unable to do anything with it.
It’s going to be fascinating to see the business models that spring up to manage this in the next couple of years.
- The Intersection of Big Data and Cloud Computing (sys-con.com)
- Use ‘Big Data’ to Engage Consumers, Not Just Monitor Digital Costs (adage.com)
- Where The Internet Lives – A Look Inside Google’s Data Centers (highsnobiety.com)
- Inside Google’s Top-Secret Data Center (wired.com)
- The Best Tools for Visualization – ReadWriteWeb (readwriteweb.com)