Remember when all of your work data would fit on a single diskette? Or when you needed only a few floppy disks to back up your entire computer? Those times are long gone. (Well, maybe not entirely. The Government Accountability Office reported last year that several U.S. government departments -- including the Pentagon -- still employed "legacy systems" that use eight-inch floppy disks.)
Always the innovator, Steve Jobs left the diskette behind as far back as 1998: The iMac G3 -- an innovative, plastic, bright, egg-shaped, all-in-one personal computer that was Steve Jobs' first-ever consumer product as CEO of Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) -- didn't contain a floppy disk drive. On non-Apple computers, built-in floppy disk drives all but disappeared on new computers by 2006.
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The death -- or near-death -- of the floppy drive doesn't mean we can't or shouldn't create backup protection for our files or that we no longer have a need to share documents and information. Rather, the opposite. As technology developed and spread into most areas of our lives and work, floppies simply became too small to handle the amount of data we needed to store, back up and transfer. Consider the fact that a 1.44-megabyte floppy is barely big enough to fit some of today's smaller-sized PDFs.
With our lives getting more and more digital, the amount of data we generate -- both at home and at work -- is growing dramatically, too.
According to EMC (an enterprise storage company), data we generate more than doubles every two years. In the seven-year period from 2013 to 2020, the digital universe will have grown by a factor of 10 -- from 4.4 trillion gigabytes to 44 trillion.
The Data Storage Business You Want To Be In
So, storage demand is growing. What about safety and security?
EMC noted that, as of 2013, an estimated 40% of the information in the digital universe required some type of data protection, but less than 20% of the digital universe actually had these protections. Three years ago, data loss and downtime cost enterprises $1.7 trillion. It has been reported that these costs have since approached a level close to $2 trillion a year.
No wonder we're seeing news of digital breaches almost daily -- and those are the cases that have been reported. Among computer-safety issues, the need to protect data while also being able to store it securely is the one that is bound to stay on the growth path for years to come. And there's lots of room to run: the rate of that growth can be much higher than in most other sectors of technology services, fueled by the enormous data growth it has been lagging behind for years.
I see tremendous opportunity in this industry in the years to come. The worldwide disk-based data protection and recovery (DBDP) market is expected to grow to $16.6 billion by 2020. DBDP's $8.4 billion worldwide data protection and recovery software (DP&R) segment is projected to grow especially fast. Cloud-based services, like the newest addition to my Game-Changing Stocks portfolio, will grow at almost three times the rate of on-premise ones (annualized rates of 12.1% versus 4.3%, respectively).
In other words, this week's pick is in the right business, and it's even more profitable than its peers. Better still, the company is expected to grow its per-share profit at a 25% annual rate for the next few years, making now the perfect time to jump in.
13 "Crazy" Predictions For 2018
While offering the name of this rising star wouldn't be fair to my paying subscribers, I have something I think you'll like even more. It's a special report detailing the little-known companies we think are going to blow up next year, bringing unimaginable profits to early investors.
This annual list, containing 13 bold predictions you won't find anywhere else, is perhaps the most hotly-anticipated, controversial, thought-provoking thing we do here at StreetAuthority.
It could also be the most profitable thing you read all year.
By the time you hear about these ideas in the mainstream financial media, it'll be too late. The big gains will have already been made. And while we don't pretend to have a crystal ball, readers who have followed our predictions in the past have seen gains of 310%, 452%, 569% and more.
Most investors are lucky to notch a triple-digit gain every three or four years. But we think each and every one of the 13 predictions in this year's report has triple-digit potential. Here's a little taste of what I'm talking about:
Prediction #3: A Cure for the Deadliest Food Allergy on the Planet Will be Released in 2018
8 million people in America alone suffer from peanut allergy -- and there's no known cure. I don't have to tell you what happens when a small drug company finally hits paydirt and gets coveted FDA approval for a life-saving treatment like this. You can basically name your price. There's no sweeter spot to be as an investor...
Prediction#5: The Use of Digital Currencies Will Explode in 2018…but the Big Winner Won't be Bitcoin
At this point, we think another digital currency is a better bet for new investors. And for those of you who may not be comfortable with this arena yet, we've found a nice little side play -- a cutting-edge, publicly-traded company that's making the technology behind the blockchain possible.
How You Can Get Your Hands On This Year's Report
As I mentioned earlier, we release these predictions each year to the public in a special report. And our subscribers love reading about them.
But it's the picks behind these wild and crazy predictions that should really get you excited. And only subscribers to my premium Game-Changing Stocks service can get full access to them.
But, frankly, if you're just willing to give the newsletter a risk-free trial to get the report, I wouldn't blame you. In fact, we're actually counting on the fact that you're going to profit from these predictions so much that you won't mind sticking around to get more ideas like them within the pages of Game-Changing Stocks, like the cloud-storage pioneer detailed above.
Remember, there's plenty more where that came from. And we've got all the research to back it up. But to get your hands on all of these predictions, including how to profit from each and every one of them, you'll need to check out our special report here.
This article originally appeared on StreetAuthority.