A study on storage trends by IDC shows that we are using billions of gigabytes of storage at an increasing rate. The study predicts that there will be a 57% annual growth rate in storage and that the amount of information created will reach 988 exabytes in 2010. For those of you have to look up what an Exabyte is (like I did), it is a one followed by 18 zeros.
The study titled "The Expanding Digital Universe: A Forecast of Worldwide Information Growth Through 2010" shows that 161 exabytes of data was created in 2006. Digital images make up a great portion of that data and IDC says 150 billion digital camera images were taken last year. On top of that, cell phone cameras took an additional 100 billion pictures. By 2010, IDC predicts that 500 billion images will be taken annually.
It's not a coincidence that the study figures seems like an advertisement for a hard drive or storage vendor because it was sponsored by EMC, a high-end vendor of network storage solutions. You can read the entire study on EMC's website here.