Singapore’s ‘digital universe’ to grow 8 times by 2020

  • In 2013, mature markets represented 60% of the Digital Universe
  • By 2020 that will flip-flop, with emerging markets representing 60%
Singapore’s ‘digital universe’ to grow 8 times by 2020

EMC Corporation said that Singapore-specific findings of its Digital Universe study, which seeks to quantify and forecast the amount of data produced annually, showed that the average Singaporean household creates enough data to fill 65 iPhones per year.
In 2020, this will grow to 318 iPhones, EMC said in a statement.
If the Singapore Digital Universe were represented by the memory in a stack of tablets in 2013, it would have stretched four times the length of the Singapore MRT (Mass Rapid Transit), calculated using the 29in iPad Air with 128 gigabyte capacity.
By 2020, this would amount to 55 stacks the length of the Singapore MRT, EMC added.
Today, if a byte of data were a gallon of water, in only 10 seconds there would be enough data to fill an average house. In 2020, it will only take two seconds, the company added.
“As the enormity and potential of the digital universe grows, businesses will have greater opportunities to analyse new streams of data and gain more value from the data they already have,” said EMC Singapore managing director Eric Goh.
“As an epicentre for growth in Asia, Singapore is doing better than its counterparts in terms of protecting data and this is encouraging.
“Creating a ‘smart nation’ begins with the ability … to extract greater value from the intelligence provided by data. IT departments will be challenged to find innovative ways to enable a smarter work culture,” he added.
This year’s Digital Universe study titled The Digital Universe of Opportunities: Rich Data and the Increasing Value of the Internet of Things, with research and analysis by IDC, reveals 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.
Due, in part, to this Internet of Things, the digital universe is doubling in size every two years and will multiply eight fold between 2013 and 2020 – from 46 exabytes to 377 exabytes, EMC said.
The Singapore findings follow EMC’s April release of the global Digital Universe study, the seventh in the series, which suggests a big data leap in emerging markets.
In 2013, mature markets represented 60% of the Digital Universe and by 2020 that will flip-flop, with emerging markets (including Singapore) representing 60%.
The Internet of Things (IoT) comprises billions of everyday objects that are equipped with unique identifiers and the ability to automatically record, report and receive data – a sensor in your shoe tracking how fast you run or a bridge tracking traffic patterns, EMC said.
According to the study, the number of devices or things that can be connected to the Internet in Singapore is at 2% and will grow to 10% by 2020. This growth is proportional to worldwide trends approaching 200 billion devices today, with 7% (or 14 billion) already connected to and communicating over the Internet.
The data from these connected devices represents 2% of the world’s data today. IDC now forecasts that, by 2020, the number of connected devices will grow to 32 billion – representing 10% of the world’s data.
“The Digital Universe and the Internet of Things go hand in hand,” said IDC senior vice president Vernon Turner.
“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.
“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,” he added.
The Internet of Things will also influence the massive amounts of ‘useful data’ – data that could be analysed – in the digital universe, EMC said.
Globally, in 2013, only 22% of the information in the digital universe was considered useful data, but less than 5% of the useful data was actually analysed, leaving a massive amount of data lost as dark matter in the digital universe.
By 2020, more than 35% of all data could be considered useful data, thanks to the growth of data from the Internet of Things, but it will be up to businesses 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 to manage, store and protect the sheer volume and diversity of this data.
Fifty-one percent of Singapore’s digital universe is protected in comparison with the global average of just 20%. IDC estimates that 40% of the data in the digital universe require some level of protection.

Singapore’s ‘digital universe’ to grow 8 times by 2020

Other key findings:

  • Emerging markets are producing more data: Currently, 60% of data in the digital universe is attributed to mature markets such as Germany, Japan, and the United States, but by 2020, the percentage will flip, and emerging markets including Brazil, Singapore and South East Asia, China, India, Mexico and Russia will account for the majority of data.
  • Data is outpacing storage: The world’s amount of available storage capacity (i.e., unused bytes) across all media types is growing slower than the digital universe. In 2013, the available storage capacity could hold just 33% of the digital universe. By 2020, it will be able to store less than 15%. Fortunately, most of the world’s data is transient (e.g. Netflix or Hulu stream, Xbox ONE game interactions, Digital TV.) and requires no storage.
  • Data touched by the cloud will double: In 2013, less than 20% of the data in the digital universe was ‘touched’ by the cloud. By 2020, that percentage will double to 40%.
  • Consumers create data but enterprises are responsible for it: Two-thirds of the digital universe bits are created or captured by consumers and workers, yet enterprises have liability or responsibility for 85% of the digital universe.

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Internet of Things: Installed base of 26bil units by 2020
The Net: 4 times as large in 4yrs
Cloud traffic to grow sixfold by 2016: Cisco
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