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EMC report says Internet of Things will drive data growth
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EMC report says Internet of Things will drive data growth 

According to the study, the amount of data we generate will increase tenfold by 2020, ballooning from 4.4 trillion gigabytes to 44 trillion. It also says that in 2014, “the digital universe will equal 1.7 megabytes a minute for every person on Earth.”

That’s a large quantity of data, and it’s something that businesses should be keen to take advantage of, says Mike Sharun, country manager, Canada, EMC – because the study found that, although two-thirds of data was generated by consumers and workers in 2013, businesses were responsible for 85 per cent of it.

“This study is indicative of how the world is changing and we’re becoming more interlocked with digitization,” said Sharun. “From a business perspective, it’s an opportunity. There is a tremendous amount of information out there that can help you run your business. The challenge is how to take advantage of opportunities that have benefit for organizations.”

The proliferation of connected devices in particular is something that businesses should keep tabs on. The report found that data from embedded systems will grow from two per cent in 2013 to 10 per cent in 2020.

Sharun cautioned, however, that security is paramount when it comes to the Internet of Things. According to the report, 40 per cent of the data in the digital universe required some form of protection, yet less than 20 per cent of it actually had those protections.

“Only half of people’s information is currently being kept secure,” said Sharun. “We don’t want people’s medical records running around all over the Internet, for example. Security – making sure we have widespread deployment of security – should be a top priority.”

Among the other findings detailed in the report was the fact that, in 2013, less than five per cent of the data that was useful for analysis was actually analyzed, indicating that businesses don’t always have the tools and resources needed to take advantage of data.

Businesses can overcome this hurdle by building big data into their business processes, establishing a governance policy around big data, finding the tools they need to effectively analyze data, and presenting themselves as forward-thinking organizations so that they can attract the best talent.

“It’s about putting into the forefront that IT is not some crazy thing that a bunch of nerds are doing in the backroom,” said Sharun. “It’s about expanding the IT role instead of narrowing it down. We need to take IT out of the backroom and move it into the boardroom, because it is part of every company’s strategy going forward.”

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