Gartner Report: One Third of Digital Data will be in Cloud by 2016

Mobile computing, social networking, connected devices and the desire to share contents across multiple devices will inspire consumers to store their digital data in the cloud.

Gartner, the research firm, has come out with one more report of the growing importance of the cloud. Gartner said more than one third of all digital data will be stored in the cloud by 2016.

According to the report, thirty six percent of all consumers’ data will be in cloud by 2016 compared to seven percent in 2011. The digital consumption across the world is likely to grow from 329 exabytes in 2011 to 4.1 zettabytes in 2016. A number of digital devices including PCs, mobile, tablets, NAS, HDDs and cloud repositories will fuel the digital storage needs.

“Historically, consumers have generally stored content on their PCs, but as we enter the post-PC era, consumers are using multiple connected devices, the majority of which are equipped with cameras. This is leading to a massive increase in new user-generated content that requires storage,” said Shalini Verma, principal research analyst at Gartner. “With the emergence of the personal cloud, this fast-growing consumer digital content will quickly get disaggregated from connected devices.”

Social networking sites such as Facebook will stock most of the cloud storage needs of consumers. Most social media sites offer free storage to upload photos and videos for social sharing.

“Local storage will become further integrated with home networking, presenting opportunities for local storage providers to partner with home networking and automation service providers,” said Ms. Verma. “Cloud storage will grow with the emergence of the personal cloud, which in turn will simplify the direct-to-cloud model, allowing users to directly store user-generated content in the cloud. As storage becomes a part of the personal cloud, it will become further commoditized. Therefore, online storage and sync companies need to have a strategic rethink about their future approach.”

The report suggested that average storage will grow from 464 gigabytes in 2011 to 3.3 terabytes in 2016 per household. Camera-equipped tablets and smartphones will be the major factors that will drive household storage needs.

Cloud service providers (CSPs) such as Google Drive, iCloud, Box, etc. will continue to provide more storage space for free, the report says. Consumers are expected to incline towards these free services. Direct-to-cloud model will overtake on-premises storage, which will drop to 64 percent in 2016 from 93 percent in 2011.

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