Here’s an interesting tidbit reported by Information Week:

The total amount of all data created, captured, and replicated on the planet last year was estimated at 16.1 zettabytes. By 2025, IDC forecasts, that amount will skyrocket to 163 zettabytes (ZB) with most of the growth, and 20% of the total, coming from IoT.

For context, the Library of Congress is the world’s largest library with 838 miles of bookshelves. It holds almost every book ever printed in the United States, an estimated 208 terabytes of data. So, 163 zettabytes means that by 2025 we will add the equivalent of 784 million Libraries of Congress worth of data, per year, every year.

But the “big” in big data is old news. Anyone in tech knows that data is big and getting bigger all the time. The real story of big data now is that it is becoming increasingly mission critical and integral to our everyday lives.

In fact, IDC estimates that by 2025, about 20% of those 163 ZB will be critical, or necessary for the smooth functioning of daily life. Ten percent of data will be hypercritical or necessary for health and well being.

What does it mean to have one’s everyday life so deeply integrated with data? Just think of everything you do online now, from banking to streaming media. Imagine all of that went away and you’ll get a taste of how dependent on data your everyday life has already become. That’s to say nothing of the power grid, which is operated by data.

By 2025, you’ll interact with a connected device 20 times more often than you do today, or 4800 times per day on average. That doesn’t mean you’ll look at your phone 20 times more often. It means that the number of services, sensors, and other connected devices that link you to data will grow exponentially (connected clothing, anyone?).

For a person to be dependent on data means filling prescriptions with the touch of a button or a voice command, interacting with artificial intelligence (AI) for customer service at retail stores or on the phone, scheduling appointments with a voice-powered virtual assistant, shopping for groceries, and more by interacting with data and connected devices—possibly even using drones for delivery and pickup.

Impact on Data Centers

According to the IDC analysis, 60 percent of that data by 2025 will be generated by enterprises. Where today there is one embedded system device per person feeding data to the data center, there will be more than four by 2025.

That should raise concerns for data center admins to start thinking about now. How can you prioritize data, how and where should you store it, how can you extract insights from it, how do you secure it?

The takeaway is that we are approaching a tipping point where data will be the fuel that drives our economy and daily lived experience. There is a name for this tipping point: digital transformation. Digital transformation is a must for enterprises that want to be prepared for the data-centric workplace and world. As a foundation, fast storage and fast (in-memory) analytics are going to be crucial in an increasingly connected world. You can start now with NVMe drives and SAP HANA in-memory analytics.

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