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Survey of ‘Trends in Technology’ Finds the Information Explosion Challenging Government Agencies to Adapt or Be OverwhelmedJuly 1, 2011 | Marijana Mrkalj 2
Research surveyed latest technology developments and public sector CFO responses
A recently released survey, Trends in Technology 2011: The Information Explosion, conducted by the Association of Government Accountants, concluded that governments must reexamine business processes to take best advantage of the deluge of data available while managing new threats. Failure to do so means governments can become overwhelmed and lose opportunities of great significance.
Both software tools and human judgment are needed to make effective and efficient use of the data, made possible by an ecosystem of technologies built around the Internet, communication systems and storage capacities. Technologies mentioned in the study hold the promise of great progress—the ability to create a smarter planet, use resources more efficiently, avert disasters and confront some of our greatest challenges. On the other hand, they create new vulnerabilities to our age-old weaknesses for destruction, fraud and abuse.
Nimble organizations in the private sector will use these technologies to gain competitive advantage and provide better value to shareholders. For them, it is one of the imperatives of survival. It is even more so for government agencies. Governments at all levels are the generators and users of huge amounts of data, they are the fiduciary agents for trillions of dollars of spending, and they are the proposers and enforcers of regulations. In each of those functions, the discerning use of technology can make for huge social gains at every level. The challenge of managing change within government organizations to embrace such technologies will be a key factor for success.
While the study covers much ground on emerging trends in hardware and software development, greening of computers, cloud computing, smarter planet, social networking, mobile apps and new vulnerabilities, it hones in on the Information Explosion as the central theme of latter day technology development. As the world becomes more interconnected, instrumented and intelligent, the digital universe of information is exploding:
- In 2010, the digital universe set a record. It grew by 62 percent to nearly 800,000 petabytes. A petabyte is a million gigabytes.
- In 2011, the digital universe is expected to grow almost as fast to 1.2 million petabytes, or 1.2 zettabytes.
- This rapid pace of growth means that by 2020, our digital universe will be 44 times