The amount of digital information in the world is doubling every month, which works out as a 2,000-fold growth in a year. That is a big threat for businesses, but also an opportunity, says the strategy chief of content management firm OpenText.

“Most experts believe we will be doubling content every day, by the end of this decade,” says Tom Jenkins, chief strategy officer of OpenText in a video interview with eWEEK Europe. This is a problem because governments are increasingly enforcing regulations over what can be done with that data.

After Web 2.0, watch out for Web 3.0!

Watch our interview with Tom Jenkins of OpenText

“When you talk on your cellphone or post on your blog, governments have a say over what can be done with that content,” says Jenkins, author of the book Managing Content in the Cloud. The increasing power of mobile devices is boosting this data explosion, he says – and rules such as the EU’s privacy laws are placing a massive burden on all organisations.

However, for those companies that do comply with the regulations, there will be benefits, as it will create a good repository of data – a “digital knowledge base” – in which the organisation can find patterns they would never see otherwise, said Jenkins.

Effectively managing data also helps protect companies against events such as WikiLeaks’ release of government data, he said.

At the moment, companies are adjusting to the impact of social media, or Web 2.0, but this is already being followed by the rise of “Web 3.0”, where data is indexed and labelled according to new factors such as location, creating intelligent information.

But that is not the end of it. For Jenkins’ vision of the next step, “Web 4.0”, watch our 16 minute video.

Peter Judge

Peter Judge has been involved with tech B2B publishing in the UK for many years, working at Ziff-Davis, ZDNet, IDG and Reed. His main interests are networking security, mobility and cloud

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