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Singapore’s digital universe will grow eight-fold by 2020: EMC and IDC

Zafirah Salim | June 12, 2014
The advent of Internet of Things contribute an increasingly large amount of data to the Singapore digital universe.

Singapore's digital universe is huge and growing exponentially. To put things in perspective, if a byte of data were a gallon of water, there would be enough data to fill an average house in only ten seconds. And in 2020, it will take a mere two seconds.

This is according to EMC Corporation's recent Digital Universe study titled The Digital Universe of Opportunities: Rich Data and the Increasing Value of the Internet of Things, which includes research and analysis by IDC. The study aims to find out how the emergence of wireless technologies, smart products and software-defined businesses are playing a central role in catapulting the volume of the world's data.

The study revealed that the number of devices or things that can be connected to the Internet in Singapore is currently at two percent, and it will grow five times more (10 percent) by 2020. This growth aligns with the global trend that we are approaching 200 billion devices today - with 7 percent (14 billion) of them already connected to the Internet.

The data from these connected devices represents two percent of the world's data today. Research firm IDC predicts that by 2020, the number of connected devices will grow to 32 billion, representing 10 percent of the world's data.

In addition, the study highlighted that Internet of Things (IoT) will also influence the massive amounts of "useful data" - data that can be analysed - in the digital universe. In 2013, only 22 percent of the information in the global digital universe was considered useful, but less than five percent of them was actually analysed - which led to a massive data loss. By 2020, more than 35 percent of all data could be considered useful data, thanks to the growth of data from the IoT.

However, it is up to the businesses themselves to put this data to use. This phenomenon will present radical new ways of interacting with customers, streamlining business cycles, and reducing operational costs, stimulating trillions of dollars in opportunity for businesses. Conversely, it presents significant challenges as businesses look manage, store and protect the sheer volume and diversity of this data.

IDC estimates that 40 percent of the data in the digital universe require some level of protection. In fact, slightly more than half (51 percent) of Singapore's digital universe is protected. And this supersedes the global average of just 20 percent.

"The Digital Universe and the Internet of Things go hand in hand. As sensors become connected to the Internet, the data that they generate becomes increasingly important to every aspect of business, transforming old industries into new relevant entities," said Vernon Turner, senior Vice President of IDC. "Traditional storage services will be elevated to new levels of resiliency and tolerance to support the Digital Universe, which can only be guaranteed in a software-defined environment."


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