Saturday, March 10, 2007

New Meaning (or is it “No Meaning?”) to Too Much Information

Yet another study concludes we have more information available than ever, but getting the right information at the right time is getting harder all the time. The IDC study, commissioned by EMC, who probably never met an exabyte it didn’t like, said the amount of information created and replicated in 2007 (255 exabytes) will be greater, for the first time, than available storage capacity (246 exabytes).

To truly appreciate this, consider that an exabyte is equal to one billion billion, or one quintillion, bytes … or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes. (Need a cup of coffee …?)

According to EMC, hard drives aren’t about to melt down from this overabundance of data – although we may – because some data get deleted.

All these exabytes though are taking a different kind of toll.

Earlier this year, Accenture surveyed over 1,000 middle managers at U.S. and U.K. large companies on receiving information necessary to their jobs:

Middle managers spend more than a quarter of their time searching for information they need for their jobs – and when they do find it, it is often wrong.

A majority (59%) acknowledged missing information that might be valuable almost every day because it exists elsewhere in the company and just cannot be found.

Another sizeable chunk (36%) said there is so much information available that it takes a long time to actually find the right piece of data.

Apparently, middle managers are looking for a needle in an exabyte.

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