Amidst all the concerns about the explosion in data is good news. Hollis said that IDC is touting the increased ability of companies to get value from that data, especially "big data," or data which scales to multiple petabytes of capacity and is created or collected, is stored, and is collaborative in real time.
"Big Data is different from enterprise storage," Hollis said. "It's built differently, and managed differently. When I asked one big data customers what he wants from his storage vendor, he said a conveyor belt. With big data, you have to look at how to draw value from the data. Big data people know their data, and know the value of the data and what it costs."
For solution providers, the IDC Digital Universe Study offers a guide for areas in which they can develop new skills to meet changing customer requirements, Hollis said.
"Solution providers will be helping customers plan and manage growth beyond just selling more stuff," he said. "If one TB is on the floor today, there will be 50 more there by the end of the decade. The opportunity is there to talk to customers about how to limit growth, and to talk to them about how to derive value from all that data as it comes in."