India Digital Data To Explode By 2020 – Report

I’ve been going on and on about the boom in Indian telecom sector and internet penetration in India. Quick on the heels of both of these, comes a report titled “The Digital Universe in India” pegging India’s digital information growth at 60 times over the next decade. The study was jointly conducted by EMC Corporation, a provider of information infrastructure systems, software and services, and IDC, a global market intelligence firm.

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The report estimates the size of this information to go upto 2.3 million petabytes from the current 40,000 petabytes. Just to get an idea of how big a petabyte actually is, 1 petabyte is approximately 1000 terabytes or a million gigabytes. Simply speaking, it could hold 500 billion pages of standard printed text. India will add information equal to data on 2.5 billion 16 GB Apple iPads (cheeky branding?) in 2010 as compared to the worldwide figure of 75 billion iPads.

Where exactly will this mind numbing amount of information come from? Users. LOTS of them. Internet penetration is increasing and tools like Web 2.0 and social networking are catching up quicker in tier II towns and below. This is bringing in – and will continue to do so – huge amounts of user generated content. A lot of businesses are cozying up to technology (cost cutting mantra from the Great Recession of 2009) and taking to cloud computing like ducks to water. These, particularly, include startups and SMBs (Small and Medium Businesses) and extend to large corporations. The Government is not sitting out either with projects like the Unique ID Project and the stress on moving to e-governance. Contributing significantly will be the mobile revolution as 3G services will finally be rolled out offering high-speed internet access conveniently.

However, a major point of concern should be the security of data. Manoj Chugh, President of EMC’s India and South Asia operations and Director of Global Accounts for EMC Asia Pacific and Japan, said, “While digital information will grow 60 times, enterprise investment in information technology and staffing is likely to grow only in single digits.” This, of course, poses a significant question of ability of enterprises to secure user data considering they store and manage over 80% of data across the world. Failure to develop a secure environment will not bode well for them. Every time a privacy related violation comes along, the outrage just keeps getting bigger because people, now, care about where their e-mail password or online banking pin is being stored.

EMC Corporation and IDC had released a similar report in May this year which analysed the “Digital Universe” globally and trends it is set to witness over the next decade.

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