VIENNA: HP has said it expects to see 50 zettabytes of data being created every year by 2020 as a growing number of online users generate huge amounts of content on sites like Twitter. A zettabyte is one billion terabytes.
Prith Banerjee (pictured above on stage), head of HP Labs, said at the firm's Discover event that the number of online citizens across the globe will soar to four billion by 2020, driving huge growth in data creation.
"By 2020 there could be as many as four billion online interacting on social networks. While now there are 250 million tweets per day this will rise to tens of millions," he said.
"There's also going to be a huge increase of sensors on the network measuring everything from temperature to heart monitoring. We expect there to be one trillion sensors by 2020."
Banerjee added that HP expects a whopping 30 billion mobile phones to be in use by 2020, which is a fairly terrifying thought.
Clearly the claims have been made to underline the theme of the Discover event that businesses need to get better at managing structured and, crucially, unstructured data. The key launch of Autonomy's Idol 10 platform at the show could be seen as the centrepiece to this.
The predictions from HP also vary from those produced by IBM, which said in 2010 that it expects 35 zettabytes of data to be created annually by 2020, and business intelligence vendor SAS, which put the figure at 15 zettabytes by 2015.
Whichever firm is right, there's clearly no doubt that data is going to grow hugely, and that businesses need to think carefully about how they use this avalanche of information.
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