While spending on public and private cloud computing accounts for less than 5% of total IT spending today, IDC estimates that by 2020, nearly 40% of the information in the digital universe will be "touched" by cloud computing, meaning that a byte will be stored or processed in a cloud somewhere in its journey from originator to disposal. Yet, only as much as about 15% of data will be maintained in a cloud, IDC said.
The investment in managing, containing, studying and storing the bits in the digital universe will only grow by 40% between 2012 and 2020. As a result, the investment per gigabyte during that same period will drop from $2 to 20 cents.
Entertainment and social media
A majority of the information in the digital universe is entertainment or social media. In 2012, 68% of all data created was used by consumers watching digital TV, interacting with social media or sending camera phone images and videos between devices and around the Internet. Yet enterprises have liability or responsibility for nearly 80% of the information in the digital universe.
As a result, corporations must deal with issues of copyright, privacy, and compliance even when the data zipping through their networks and server farms is created and used by consumers.
IDC's research paper estimates that about one-third of all data requires some type of protection, either to safeguard personal privacy, adhere to regulations, or prevent digital snooping or theft. However, currently, only about 20% of data now has these protections. The level of security varies by region, with much less protection in emerging tech markets, which include countries such as Brazil, Russia, India, Malaysia, and the United Arab Emirates.
Additionally, emerging market nations will go from creating a minority of data to creating the majority, IDC said. In 2005, for example, 48% of the digital universe came from the United States and Western Europe. Emerging markets accounted for less than 20%. However, the share of data attributable to emerging markets is now 36% and will be 62% by 2020. By then, China alone will generate 21% of the bit streams entering the digital universe.
Additionally, the study found:
The network is growing in importance. Latencies must get shorter, not longer. Data must be analyzed, security applied, and authentication verified -- all in real time and at levels yet to be seen. Network infrastructure will be a key investment over the next eight years.