At A Glance – The Zettabyte Era

In the zettabyte era, effective data mobility management is crucial

From the beginning of human history to the year 2000, our species produced five exabytes (five billion gigabytes) of data. By 2010, we began to produce the same amount every 10 minutes. The gigabyte – the unit for one billion bytes – revolutionised data storage. Today, we have entered a new level of data capacity: the zettabyte era.

In 2012, the amount of global digital data exceeded one zettabyte (one trillion gigabytes) for the first time. By 2021, Cisco predicts that devices will produce 847 zettabytes of data per year. It’s almost impossible to imagine a trillion billion bytes, but the implications are clear. On the one hand, organisations can access far more data and use it to fuel data driven processes and initiatives. On the other hand, there is immense pressure to demonstrate good data practises and management solutions.

Coping with the vast amount of data in circulation has already proved challenging for network providers, software vendors, and consultancies. The information gathered from digital interactions needs to be indexed, tagged, and sent to where it is needed – for example, to an app. The zettabyte era will call on the likes of Cisco, Ericsson and Huawei to use their partner networks and technological capabilities to build data mobility management solutions to connect and organise disparate data.

In the zettabyte era, security and privacy are critical. As connectivity and digital literacy expands – particularly as internet saturation increases in developing markets – organisations should prepare to comply with strict regulations. Fortunately, governments are working to protect data and form a framework for ethical, responsible data management.

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