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MENA Digital Universe to grow by over 600% by 2020

EMC Digital Universe Study reveals exponential growth in MENA by 2020, driven by Social, Mobile, Smart City Initiatives and Sensor-Enabled “Things”.
EMC2 | 26.09.2014

EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC) today announced results of the EMC Digital Universe study for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the only study to quantify and forecast the amount of data produced annually. The study reveals that the digital universe in the MENA will grow from 249 Exabytes in 2014 to 1835 Exabytes by 2020, an increase of over 600%.

The announcement follows from the findings of the global study titled “The Digital Universe of Opportunities: Rich Data and the Increasing Value of the Internet of Things,” that revealed how the emergence of wireless technologies, smart products and software-defined businesses are playing a central role in the surging volume of the world’s data.

Key Findings:

• Emerging markets are producing more data: In 2013, 60% of data in the digital universe is attributed to mature markets such as Germany, Japan, and the United States, but emerging markets including the Middle East and North Africa, Brazil, China, India, Mexico and Russia will surpass the mature markets by 2017. The MENA region alone will rise from 3.8% of the worldwide digital universe to 4.2% in 2020.

• The Internet of Things will fuel the growth of the Digital Universe in the MENA: The billions of connected devices equipped with unique identifiers and the ability to automatically record, report and receive data, currently represent 2% of the MENA’s data and is expected to contribute to over 8% of the MENA data by 2020 creating new sources of value for businesses in the region.

• Much of the Data in the MENA needs protection: Only 47% of the data being generated in the MENA is protected, a massive 53% still needs to be secured. This points to a grave concern for the future as the amount of information continues to amplify, it opens more doors for cyber criminals to exploit mounds of increasingly vulnerable information assets.

According to analysts, organizations in the MENA region now need to take steady steps to identify and define “useful data” or data that could be analyzed – in the digital universe. In 2013, only 22% of the information in the worldwide digital universe was considered useful data, but less than 5% of the useful data was actually analyzed – leaving a massive amount of data lost as dark matter in the digital universe. By 2020, more than 35% of all data in the world 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 manage, store and protect the sheer volume and diversity of this data.