That’s how much data IDC estimates will be generated annually by 2025 in the just-released report, Data Age 2025, sponsored by Seagate Technology. The growth of this data will be the result of the incorporation of intelligent agents that use machine learning and other forms of artificial intelligence to analyze the growing amount of data generated by the digital things in our lives.
This data is generated in the course of building driver assistance and autonomous vehicle technologies, IoT devices including sensors in our bodies, homes, factories, and cities, creating high-resolution content for 360 videos and augmented reality and 5G communications. It is enabled by building the edge networks and centralized data centers that help to analyze, communicate and store the resulting data. The creation of all of this digital technology is often called “digital transformation.”
IDC says that 22 Zettabytes (ZB) of digital storage will be shipped across all storage media types between 2018 and 2025 with nearly 59% of that capacity supplied by the HDD industry. A lot of the growth of this storage will be in the cloud as both consumers and businesses find greater reasons to store their data in the cloud (internet accessible data centers). IDC says that by 2019 more data will be stored in the enterprise core (mostly in the cloud) than in all the world’s existing endpoints.
The projection is that the amount of digital data generated (what IDC calls the Datasphere) will grow from 33 ZB in 2018 to 175 ZB by 2025 as shown in the figure below. IDC says that China’s Datasphere is expected to grow 30% on average over the next seven years and will be the largest Datasphere of all regions by 2025. By 2025 49% of the world’s stored data will reside in public cloud environments.
The figure below shows the growth of the global datasphere by region.
Other projections include that nearly 30% of the Global Datasphere will be real-time by 2025. By 2025 every connected person in the world (about 75% of the total population at that time) will have a digital data engagement over 4,900 times per day, about once every 18 seconds. The IoT devices generating much of this data will generate over 90 ZB of data in 2025.
The data will be increasingly stored in the public cloud, according to IDC, as shown in the figure below.
The figure below shows IDC’s projections for overall storage byte shipments by different storage media types. As can be seen, by 2025 there is projected to be significant digital storage in HDDs, various solid-state storage as well as magnetic tape.
IDC also introduced what they call data readiness condition (DATCON) indexes for various industries. This index is said to represent the readiness of these industries for the digital future. They examined four industries: financial services, manufacturing, healthcare, and media and entertainment. These industries were estimated to comprise about 48% of the total enterprise datasphere.
Because of their historical investments in digital technologies, manufacturing and financial services were given the highest DATCON index scores. The lowest DATCON index was given to the media and entertainment industry as it was seen as having undertaken the least digital transformation investments compared to the other industries.
The growth of digital technologies over the next few years will transform the way we work and live and provide greater personalization of services than ever before. It will also create new social stratification and new privacy concerns. Digital transformation will generate increasing amounts of data and demand for ways to analyze and apply this data and store the results.