eDiscovery Daily Blog

According to IDC, Big Data is Only Getting Bigger – eDiscovery Trends

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), big data is only getting bigger.  In the publication IDC iView “Big Data, Bigger Digital Shadows, and Biggest Growth in the Far East,” (sponsored by EMC), which is excerpted here, the “digital universe” is growing even faster than we thought.

As the report notes: “at the midpoint of a longitudinal study starting with data collected in 2005 and extending to 2020, our analysis shows a continuously expanding, increasingly complex, and ever more interesting digital universe.”  IDC’s sixth annual study of the digital universe contains some interesting findings, including:

  • From 2005 to 2020, the digital universe will grow by a factor of 300, from 130 exabytes 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.
  • The investment in spending on IT hardware, software, services, telecommunications and staff that could be considered the “infrastructure” of the digital universe and telecommunications will grow by 40% between 2012 and 2020. As a result, the investment per gigabyte (GB) during that same period will drop from $2.00 to $0.20. Of course, investment in targeted areas like storage management, security, big data, and cloud computing will grow considerably faster.
  • A majority of the information in the digital universe, 68% in 2012, is created and consumed by consumers — watching digital TV, interacting with social media, sending camera phone images and videos between devices and around the Internet, and so on. Yet enterprises have liability or responsibility for nearly 80% of the information in the digital universe.
  • Only a tiny fraction of the digital universe has been explored for analytic value. IDC estimates that by 2020, as much as 33% of the digital universe will contain information that might be valuable if analyzed.
  • 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.
  • The first Digital Universe Study was published in 2007.  At that time, IDC’s forecast for the digital universe in 2010 was 988 exabytes (in 2002, there were 5 exabytes in the world, representing an estimated growth of 19,760% in eight years).  Based on actuals, it was later revised to 1,227 exabytes (an actual growth of 24,540% in eight years).  So far, data is growing even faster than anticipated.

The report excerpt breaks out several graphs to illustrate where the digital universe is now and where it’s headed, showing how, as IT costs rise, the costs per GB will fall considerably and also showing the “geography” of the digital universe, with the US currently accounting for 32% of the digital universe.  According to IDC, the share of the digital universe attributable to emerging markets is up to 36% in 2012 and is expected to be 62% by 2020.

Obviously, this has considerable eDiscovery ramifications as data within organizations will continue to grow exponentially and a combination of good information governance programs and effective retrieval technology will be even more vital to keep eDiscovery manageable and costs in check.

So, what do you think?  Do you have a plan in place to manage exponential data growth?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine Discovery. eDiscoveryDaily is made available by CloudNine Discovery solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscoveryDaily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.