If you think storing your enterprise data is a tough challenge now, it's nothing compared to what it might be in just a few years.
According to a new study from research firm IDC and storage vendor EMC, data requirements are growing at an annual rate of 60 percent. Today, that figure tops 45 gigabytes for every person, or 281 exabytes total (equivalent to 281 billion GB).
What should concern IT managers is that the report predicts the total amount of digital information -- the "digital universe," as the study's authors call it -- will balloon to 1,800 exabytes by 2011.
The findings should serve as a wake-up call to enterprises, said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.
"Creation of information is accelerating at a torrid pace, and if organizations want the benefits of information they'll need effective management tools," King wrote in a response to the IDC/EMC report.
Chief factors responsible for the growth in data include burgeoning Internet access in emerging countries, increasing numbers of datacenters supporting cloud computing and the rise in social networks, the study found.
Less than 5 percent of the digital universe is from datacenter servers, and only 35 percent is drawn from the enterprise overall, according to IDC.
Nevertheless, the IT impact will be extensive, ranging from the need to boost information governance to improving data security.
About 70 percent of the digital universe is created by individuals, although companies are responsible for the security, privacy, reliability and compliance of 85 percent of that data, the study said.
King said IT will need to cope by assessing relationships with business units that classify data.