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Cloud demand ‘to grow 10-fold in 10 years’

Dubai, March 27, 2012

The dormant demand for cloud storage is already between 2-5 terabytes of data, and it will likely increase by a factor of 10 within the next 10 years, said an industry expert.

“Merely synchronizing the many devices each household owns will become hopelessly impractical,” added Bahjat El-Darwiche, partner with Booz & Company, a leading global management consulting firm.

“If that exponential growth continues, consumers will seek one of two solutions: keeping files on devices at home, with all the cost and complexity of maintaining the necessary hardware, or moving them to outside, cloud-based servers, which would be easier to maintain, and probably more cost-effective.”

Business and consumer interest in cloud IT services has increased over the past year, he pointed out.

Despite the occasional security and continuity setbacks, cloud IT offerings—whether through publicly accessible services, privately gated services, or hybrids—are on the rise, particularly for corporate customers.

On the consumer side, this development has just begun. Companies are creating more and more services—some as simple as basic file storage—to satisfy the rising demand from residential customers for cloud services. Most prominently, Apple recently launched its iCloud offering with a huge burst of marketing.

These efforts are geared toward meeting consumers’ rising demand for space to store and share their growing amounts of data and to be able to access that data across an ever wider variety of devices.

Most smartphones currently provide 16 to 64 gigabytes of data storage, enough to hold the great majority of most consumers’ music, pictures, and application data, along with a reasonable number of video clips.

As the amount of content owned by consumers continues to multiply, their storage demands will also grow, as will the storage capacity of their devices. By 2020, individual smartphones will most likely offer as much as several hundred gigabytes of storage.

Unsurprisingly, consumers are already demanding the right to consume all of their media across all of their devices, from anywhere and as seamlessly as possible. But the sheer amount of data they hope to store and share will make it increasingly difficult to maintain identical sets of data across all devices.

In the long run, the only viable alternative will be the cloud—both for storing all this data and for making it available on the many devices on which people expect to be able to access it, from anywhere, at any time.

To be sure, the cloud solution requires that a broadband network is available and that the data can be stored on a reasonably reliable and secure cloud service. But that’s exactly where the opportunity for telecom operators lies, El-Darwiche said.

Given the level of demand, and the sheer volume of data that will need to be stored and sent around, the market for low-cost consumer cloud storage will explode in the next several years, he said. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: broadband | Network | Booz | Telecom operators | Cloud demand |

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