Enterprise investment in the digital universe — cloud, hardware, software, services, and staff to create, manage, store and generate revenue from the information — has increased 50%, to $4 trillion, since 2005, according to an EMC-sponsored IDC Digital Universe study. The forces behind this relentless growth are driven by technology and money. New "information taming" technologies are driving the cost of creating, capturing, managing and storing information down to one-sixth of what it was in 2005.

According to the study, "Extracting Value from Chaos," the growth isn’t ceding anytime soon. The world's data is doubling every two years — growing faster than Moore's Law. IDC, which conducted the study forecasts 1.8 zettabytes (1.8 trillion gigabytes) will be created and replicated in 2011, and the Digital Universe and Big Data are driving transformational societal, technological, scientific and economic changes. IDC notes that the skills, experience and resources to manage the deluge of data and resources simply isn't keeping pace with all areas of growth. Over the next decade, IT departments worldwide will experience: • 10 times the number of servers (virtual and physical). • 50 times the amount of information to be managed. • 75 times the number of files or containers that encapsulate the information in the digital universe, which is growing even faster than the information itself as more and more embedded systems, such as sensors in clothing, in bridges, or medical devices. • 1.5 times the number of IT professionals available to manage it all.

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