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Big data means big changes for businesses, consumers

Both businesses and individuals alike have been buying into data storage at significantly increasing rates over the last decade, which has meant huge changes to the way society uses technology.

The first iPod, released in 2001, could hold about 5 gigabytes of information, which was enough to store about 1,000 songs. The largest available iPod today has a capacity just under 160 GB or roughly 40,000 songs. With hard drives that can hold more than 2 terabytes (2,078 GB) available in common retail venues, consumers have been able to easily create personal "servers" at a small cost.

On a much larger scale, businesses have been investing in enormous servers to store their data. While the idea may be cost-effective for household use, it can be an unnecessary expense if, say, a company only needs to store large volumes of data seasonally.

By 2020, the International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that the amount of the world's digital information that's created and replicated will grow to an astonishing 35 trillion GB. In just 2010, the volume of digital information grew by 62 percent to more than 838 billion GB, which, according to the IDC, meant there was enough data to be stored in enough DVDs to make a stack that reached from Earth to the moon and back.

Businesses must continue to adjust with the exponential growth of digital information, and in order to do that, they must use innovative ways to maintain their records, information, files and applications. Companies have been increasingly investing in cloud services for managed remote access of their databases.

Since cloud computing is still a growing technology, business owners and managers should have their current systems evaluated by telecommunications experts. These professionals can show them how a hosted data storage and backup system can not only be an effective solution for digital information safekeeping, but can also be used for network management and communication services.