In the course of human history, we’ve managed to discover the most efficient and effective ways of delivering a message. Our language has expanded and our messages have evolved, but for the great majority of recorded history, data exchange remained basic.It wasn’t until recent innovations that data exchange became far more complex and advanced. This enhancement led to an increase in data creation, which fueled the need for more sophisticated solutions for sharing and storing this data.
Currently, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. This includes both structured data, such as defined record keeping and quantifiable points of information, and unstructured data, like all Web content, email messages, videos, photos, etc. The startling notion is that 90% of all existing data has been generated in the last five years alone.
With that growth rate on the horizon, managing the data transfer explosion is becoming a major focus of the IT industry. Everyone you know probably uses email, for example, so it may amaze you that email still has room to grow. Nonetheless, the total number of email users is expected to grow from 2.6 billion people in 2015 to nearly three billion by the end of the decade. That’s not even counting the number of cloud storage users, SaaS users, and more.
It’s extremely revealing to contrast modern ways of data exchange with the hundreds of years that preceded digital data. It took thousands of years to go from letters to telegraphs, but just over one hundred to go from telegrams to emails. It says to us that people want to share information—need to share it. The only thing that separates us from each other is the limit of our technology, and the need for security.
To discover the storied past of data exchange to better understand the future, take a look at our comprehensive timeline.