June 26, 2012
Mobility and the large file sizes that accompany camera-equipped devices will see one-third of consumers' digital content stored in cloud environments, according to Gartner. While just 7 percent of consumer data was stored in the cloud in 2011, the research company believes that the percentage will increase more than five times, to 36 percent, by 2016.
Gartner believes that the pace of cloud adoption quickened after October 2011 floods in Thailand reduced the manufacturing capacity of many companies that produce traditional hard disk drives (HDD). InfoWorld reported at the time that nearly 25 percent of the world's HDD manufacturing was knocked out with the floods. Even as production is back to normal, prices remain elevated by as much as 70 percent, according to InfoWorld.
Drive for mobility
Floods weren't the only factor in increased cloud storage, as many consumers are making the move improve mobility, some eschewing traditional computers for tablets and smartphones. With the average household's storage needs growing from 464 gigabytes to 3.3 terabytes by 2016, according to Gartner, the need for cloud storage became more marked.
"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 connected with cameras," Gartner research analyst Shalini Verma said. "This is leading to a massive increase in new user-generated content that requires storage."
Data volume is growing across the business landscape as well, necessitating greater use of cloud storage in many companies. Despite some organizations showing concern over cloud security, 74 percent of companies do not have a tracking process for files placed on a third-party cloud, according to a study from a data governance company. Partly because of this, 67 percent of those in senior management were unaware where the company's data resides.
Only 9 percent of companies had a cloud authentication process in place to authorize access, with 23 percent claiming such a plan is still in development. Because the data is generally less important than some company information, personal cloud security is not often required to be at the same level as that of enterprise systems, though the move to mobile is just a much of an issue. Fifty-seven percent of respondents in the data governance company's study are looking for a bring-your-own-device policy to include secure, internal file sharing.
-McAfee Cloud Security