Alright we all know that we have a ton of data and its growing and growing. And maybe you are sick of hearing about it. But you should really listen. I liken the growth of data in business to the growth of the human body taking on too much weight. The result is that we may be able to function for a long time but eventually there will be serious ramifications if we don’t do the right things to become healthy.
There is an interesting IDC report that was published in 2007 – a bit old but has some compelling information and insight. Let’s break down some of it:
- In 2006, the amount of digital information created, captured, and replicated 161 exabytes or 161 billion gigabytes. This is about 3 million times the information in all the books ever written. Between 2006 and 2010, the information added annually to the digital universe will increase more than six fold from 161 exabytes to 988 exabytes.
My observation: This numbers illustrate the sheer volume of digital data that has being created and further – tells you that we ain’t seen nothing yet.
- IDC predicts that by 2010, while nearly 70% of the digital universe will be created by individuals, organizations (businesses of all sizes, agencies, governments, associations, etc.) will be responsible for the security, privacy, reliability, and compliance of at least 85% of that same digital universe.
My observation: The importance of this is that organizations will have to manage data created by their customers and employees – which will have a real business impact. And IDC left a few things out – accessing the data and protecting it.
- The cost of not responding to the avalanche of information can add up, yet not be immediately visible to CEOs and CFOs.
My observation: This goes back to my unhealthy body analogy – you may not know what vital organ or system is going to collapse – it may be more than one – and you won’t know until something bad happens.
- In surveys of U.S. companies, we have found that information workers spend 14.5 hours per week reading and answering email, 13.3 hours creating documents, 9.6 hours searching for information, and 9.5 hours analyzing information.
- We estimate that an organization employing 1,000 knowledge workers loses $5.7 million annually just in time wasted having to reformat information as they move among applications. Not finding information costs that same organization an additional $5.3 million a year.
IDC is saying that poor data management can cost you $11 million annually just based on your users wasting time. That doesn’t take into account other costs – such as outside audits, e-Discovery, litigation, etc. You’ve just been told you have a severe case of diabetes and need to do something about it.
We need greater levels of integration between applications, storage systems and data management tools to turn data into information and then to get us the right information when we need it. Okay? Go make it happen 😉
Certainly this is easier said than done. But the ecosystem – customers and the various vendors – must all move towards this objective. We already have better tools to accomplish these tasks but we have a long way to go before reaching information utopia. The first step is to recognize that there is an issue – a problem – and make it a priority to research and begin to address the unhealthiness and the short and long term ramifications.