EMC World 2009: Digital universe still growing

Digital Universe

Digital information has grown by 73 per cent this year, according to a EMC-sponsored report by IDC.

The figure was announced today at EMC World in Orlando, Florida.

The report entitled "As the economy contracts, the Digital Universe expands" showed the number of new digital information bits created throughout 2008 as 3,892,179,868,480,350,000,000 said as three sextillion, 892 quintillion, 179 quadrillion, 868 trillion, 480 billion and 350 million. Converted into gigabytes it becomes 468.522 billion gb.

John Gantz, chief research officer at IDC, said: "Contrary to popular belief, as the economy deteriorated in late 2008, the pace of digital information created and transmitted over the internet, phone networks and airwaves actually increased."

IDC had underestimated the figure by three per cent. It has now predicted that, in the future, what the firm deems as, the "Digital Universe" will double every 18 months, with 2012 seeing five times as many bits created as these latest figures.

In a statement, IDC compared the figure to be the same size as either three quadrillion Twitter feeds, 162 trillion digital photos or 4.8 quadrillion online bank transactions.

The research firm has further predicted its growth saying: "Mobile phone users will grow by a fact of 3.0 [and] 600 million more people will become internet users."

It also claimed that IT devices such as Sat navs, RFID readers and wireless meters will grow by a factor of 3.6 and social networking and email interaction will grow by a factor of 8.0.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.