It’s going to be a hundred-zettabyte world – with major investments in the edge reaping rewards

Global data creation is predicted to grow to 163 zettabytes (ZB) by 2025, 10 times the amount of data produced in 2017, according to new figures from IDC.

The findings appear in a report put together by the analyst firm alongside data storage firm Seagate. The report, titled ‘The Digitisation of the World: From Edge to Core’, notes how the enterprise is driving this change.

“Where consumers created most of the world’s data in the past, IDC predicts enterprises will soon create 60% of the world’s data via applications relying on machine learning, automation and machine to machine technologies, and significant growth of data-creation for embedded devices,” John Paulsen, Seagate editor noted in a blog post.

But how can this data be used? By 2025, the research added, more than 20% of data created globally could be useful for analytics if tagged. However, only 15% of what could be considered useful will in reality be tagged and analysed.

“Beyond the societal impact, if not managed well, this growing flood of data could result in businesses experiencing operational inefficiencies, delivering poor customer experiences, and losing revenue,” Paulsen added. The enterprise will be seen as a ‘data steward’, and consumers are ‘expecting’ this change, the report notes: “Beginning in 2019, more data will be stored in the enterprise core than in all the world’s existing endpoints.”

The key to making this happen is through utilisation of edge computing, processing data where it is generated rather than in a centralised warehouse. More than four in five (82%) EMEA organisations said they expected edge investments to increase in the next two years, compared with 88% for US. 99% of Chinese organisations agreed with the statement.

In terms of how this plays out in different industries, IDC looked at manufacturing, healthcare, financial services and media. Manufacturing is perhaps the most interesting example, with one manufacturer collecting IoT telemetry data from engines it builds and sells. This data is then put back into the core for advanced analytics, to tweak manufacturing processes, as well as be used as a channel for dealers and distributors.

This research makes for an interesting comparison when looking at Cisco’s yearly report on the state of cloud traffic. The company’s most recent analysis, back in February, forecast cloud data centre traffic to represent 95% of total data centre traffic by 2021, with cloud traffic to hit 19.5 ZB per year by then.

IDC made a separate prediction today around European investments in digital transformation. The analyst house said spending on technologies enabling transformation on the continent will hit $378 billion in 2022, up from $256bn by the end of this year. in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and sharing their use-cases? Attend the co-located IoT Tech Expo, Blockchain Expo, AI & Big Data Expo and Cyber Security & Cloud Expo World Series with upcoming events in Silicon Valley, London and Amsterdam and explore the future of enterprise technology.

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