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Gartner: A third of users' data will be in cloud by 2016
Analyst firm forecasts the decline of on-premise storage as consumers go for cloud storage
Consumers will gradually start moving towards cloud storage and, by 2016, more than one third of consumer data will be stored in cloud.
So claims analyst firm Gartner, which suggests the reason for this shift will be the fact that users will increasingly own multiple. In 2011, just seven per cent of consumer content was stored in the cloud. This figure is expected to grow to 36 per cent in 2016. Camera-equipped smartphones and tablets have further increased digital data consumption, Gartner said.
The analyst firm expects that digital storage needs across the world will increase by 91 per cent from 329 exabytes in 2011 to 4.1 zettabytes in 2016. (1 exabyte = 1,073,741,824 gigabytes – 1 zettabyte = 1024 exabytes). The average household will require at least 3.3 terabytes of online storage data by the next four years. This is up from 464 gigabytes in 2011.
"Historically, consumers have 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," she added.
The majority of consumers' cloud storage needs in the near term will be met by social media sites such as Facebook, which offer free storage space for uploading photos and videos for social sharing.
Verma said that while online backup services are the most well-known cloud storage providers, their total storage allocated to consumers and "prosumers" is small relative to that maintained by social media sites.
“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,” she said.
“As storage becomes a part of the personal cloud, it will become further commoditised," she said, adding that online storage and sync companies need to have a “strategic rethink about their future approach.”