by Tim Lohman

A/NZ data to grow 5 times over the next 4 years: IDC

Jun 03, 20094 mins
Data WarehousingIT Leadership

Data growth rates continue to rise despite the continued global financial crisis, according to the latest Digital Universe.

CIOs need to start thinking about their data centre infrastructure and their business enablement. If you don’t solve this problem then you lose the value of information David Webster, president, EMC A/NZ

The report, sponsored by EMC, found that some 14 billion gigabytes of data was created by individuals and organisations across Australia and New Zealand in 2008.

The figure is equivalent to about 5 trillion digital photos, 86,400 trillion twitter feeds, or 259,200,000 full loaded blue ray DVDs.

“The reality is that in the recession the growth of information has actually accelerated ahead of the growth rate in the last 12-18 months,” David Webster, president at EMC A/NZ said. “That’s because people have not stopped capturing and using information.”

Citing the IDC report, Webster said globally data was predicted to grow five-fold over the next 4 years from some 486 exabytes of data in 2008 to 2,600 exabytes by 2012.

Webster said the responsibility for determining how organisations could manage this data growth, extract value from it and enable organisations to use it would fall squarely on CIOs’ shoulders.

“It’s not a blip on the radar; growth in information is not suddenly going to stop — it’s a fundamental trend that will continue,” he said. “CIOs need to start thinking about their data centre infrastructure and their business enablement. If you don’t solve this problem then you lose the value of information”

Webster said that a paradox existed in the underlying growth of data in that 70 percent of all data is created by individuals, yet 85 percent is the responsibility of organisations to manage.

This could be seen in the rapid growth of unstructured data by individuals within organisations — marketing videos uploaded to YouTube, images, PDFs, Word or Excel files, and music files — against structured data such as entries in an ERP system, he said.

“The top 500 organisations are opening their doors up to social media constructs to allow communication to better occur,” he said. “Individuals in their day jobs are creating unstructured content, and also [creating content] in their social life, which is blending with their organisational job. So, the reality is that if you as en employee create something, the responsibility for it lies with the organisation — store it, protect it, and manage it against compliance legislation.”

John Brand, research director APAC at analyst firm Hydrasight, said the concern over data could be seen in the increased number of records management projects underway, the increasing number of users who had access to records management systems and the focus on information efficiency projects and skills retention, Brand said.

Data management issues were also being exacerbated by the growing number of mergers and acquisitions, the move toward capturing the context of decision making for future analysis, and ironically, record management systems themselves, he said.

“The theory is that these are a central repository for organisations to store data, but the reality is you need multiple repositories distributed around your organisation and that information is constantly changing, so you generate more and more data,” Brand said.

“The paradox is that a lot of investment from organisations is going into the technologies which create a lot of this information.”

He said a number of technologies were being applied to limit data growth. These included compression, document version control, single instance storage, and differential storage.

“Some of these technologies applied the right way have a dramatic implication for the organisation: you can reduce the amount of data that needs to be backed up and the amount of data that needs to be replicated,” he said.