IDC’s Outlook for Data Byte Density Across the Globe Has Big Implications for the Future

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., October 21, 2013 – As our digitally-defined world continues to churn out boundless amounts of data, the storage industry is challenged to understand how much data will need to be stored, and where. According to new research from International Data Corporation (IDC), worldwide installed raw storage capacity (byte density) will climb from 2,596 Exabytes (EB) in 2012 to a staggering 7,235 EB in 2017.

The usefulness of this rising flood of ones and zeros hinges on the ability of organizations to prioritize, store, and retrieve data easily as they look to leverage vast amounts of new social data in new business models. Traditional, low-cost tape and optical storage solutions for long-term archiving and content delivery are being displaced as businesses place more data online and as consumers stream and store more data from and in the cloud.

The incessant requests for data coming from billions of mobile devices around the world demand that data be centralized and available at all times. On top of this, each country differs on how prepared it is to capitalize on the value of its own strategic data based on its raw installed base of storage, especially enterprise storage, which continues to grow in strategic importance.

"Technology is a moving target, but the desire to store more data is insatiable," said David Reinsel, Group Vice President, Storage, Semiconductors, Security, GRC, and Pricing at IDC. "IT managers, and even government officials, should view data as a precious resource like water, oil, or gold. Increasingly, data will be critical to govern and grow businesses, it will be mined for hidden nuggets of strategic insight using analytics, and it will be traded and sold, just like other commodities."

Businesses must be aware of these big data/analytic discoveries because they will drive optimization within existing businesses, offer new vectors of growth for mature businesses, and birth new businesses altogether. In addition, these discoveries will drive new sources of revenue for those that own the data.

A recently released IDC study Where in the World is Storage: A Look at Byte Density Across the Globe (IDC #243338) assesses and estimates the worldwide total of installed base of raw storage capacity by five major media types: hard disk drives, optical, tape, flash (NAND) and DRAM. Through this study IDC also leveraged the type of device the storage is integrated into (ie, enterprise solutions, PCs, mobile devices and other categories) to see which areas will experience continued future growth. Storage is measured in a variety of ways through annual shipments, raw installed base, and by media type. This information will help businesses drive highly critical, data-based decisions in the future.

To view IDC's Data Byte Density Infographic, click here.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. For more than 49 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting