EMC chief predicts rapid changes for enterprises

EMC CEO Mike Ruettgers, in a keynote speech at the BMC Assurance 2000 conference here on Tuesday, predicted that enterprises, coping with information management in the Internet age, would have to deal with volumes of data previously unheard of and a shortage of IT workers to handle it.

Enterprises will have terabytes and petabytes of data on their systems, Ruettgers said. With a so-called Global 2000 company, "You're going to be doubling your information every 90 days," Ruettgers added.

"You need to get prepared for this kind of growth in information because if it hasn't happened to you yet, it will happen very quickly," said Ruettgers.

Compounding the situation is low unemployment and a shortage of IT workers, he said, adding that it takes about one employee to manage each terabyte of data "In the petabyte world, you simply go crazy," Ruettgers said.

Ruettgers made the following predictions that he said would happen by 2003:

-- The typical Global 2000 company will have more than a petabyte of data online.

-- Everything will be accessed over the Internet, or through devices allowing you to reach the Internet.

-- Disks will no longer be sold with servers, as they will require separation due to the large amount of data being stored.

-- Information and technology will be forever separated.

Ruettgers said the prediction about devices accessing the Internet would spell major changes for PC vendors. The "killer application" for PCs today is e-mail, but e-mail can now be accessed via small devices.

"Guess what -- you don't need a PC for e-mail," Ruettgers said.

He also noted the criticality of e-mail, calling it "the only application that the CEO knows is not working."

An EMC and BMC user in the audience said Ruettgers is probably accurate with his predictions, given the growth of e-commerce.

"I would say his predictions are probably more on target than not," said Clifton Burness, a systems manager at DST Systems, a Kansas City-based company that provides computer services for financial businesses.

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