The huge growth around the world in Internet of Things (IoT) devices and sensors has been highlighted by a new report that forecasts almost 80 zettabytes of data a year will be created by these gadgets by 2025.

This is according to figures from International Data Corporation (IDC), which estimated there will be 41.6 billion IoT devices in use by 2025, with the amount of data generated seeing a compound annual growth rate of 28.7 per cent over the period from 2018 to 79.4ZB by 2025.

A zettabyte is equal to a billion terabytes, or a trillion gigabytes. According to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index, total web traffic sent between 1984 and 2018 only amounted to 4.7 zettabytes.

Carrie MacGillivray, group vice-president for IoT, 5G and mobility at IDC, noted that as the global connected market continues to mature, IoT will increasingly become the fabric that enables the exchange of information.

“Data becomes the common denominator – as it is captured, processed, and used from the nearest and farthest edges of the network to create value for industries, governments and individuals’ lives,” she continued.

“Understanding the amount of data created from the myriad of connected devices allows organisations and vendors to build solutions that can scale in this accelerating data-driven IoT market.”

IDC’s research found video data will make up the bulk of this IP traffic, with connected surveillance systems that are able to monitor and analyse large groups of people being the key drivers.

However, applications such as industrial machinery, connected vehicles and healthcare equipment will all have major contributions to make to IoT data volumes.

Meanwhile, IDC also predicted there will be strong adoption of more consumer-based gadgets, including smart home appliances and environment controls, as well as wearables, in the near term.

“The world around us is becoming more ‘sensorised’, bringing new levels of intelligence and order to personal and seemingly random environments, and Internet of Things devices are an integral part of this process,” said David Reinsel, senior vice-president at IDC’s Global DataSphere.

However, he warned that every new connection will bring with it new security vulnerabilities and privacy concerns. Companies must therefore address these data hazards as they look to deliver new levels of efficiency and customer experience.