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Europe set to lead global data explosion

20 Feb 2013

Western Europe is set for a data explosion that will make the region among the top content consumers on the planet, according to a report from IDC.

The research firm said that by 2020, users in Western Europe will consume some 5.5 zettabytes of data annually. The figure would represent an annual growth rate of 30 percent and would put the market among the highest consuming regions in the world.

The study, which was sponsored by storage firm EMC, noted that enterprises look to increasingly bear responsibility for the data explosion. Researchers estimate that in 2012 at least 80 per cent of all data generated was the direct or indirect responsibility of enterprises as either contact with other firms or direct interaction with customers.

Researchers also noted that Europe has several unique traits which separate it from other regions. Traffic from infrastructure such as video surveillance networks were far higher than the US or Asia, while individual TV consumption is higher than other regions, particularly as carriers migrate to digital TV broadcasts.

Going forward, the firm said that it believes emerging fields such as big data and cloud computing will take over as key drivers for data volume growth. As such, IDC said that new challenges will like arise for enterprises and storage vendors alike.

"In just five years, the Western Europe share of the digital universe will be about the same size as the entire digital universe in 2012. Its share of the digital universe will be many times more valuable than today, but also many times more volatile," the company said in its report.

"Many times more bytes will need information security, many more systems will need real-time responses, and many more demands for reliability and speedy access will be made of the IT managers, CIOs, data scientists, and chief security officers that manage the actual digital universe."


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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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