infoTECH Feature

March 16, 2012

Study Foresees Increasing Cloud Prevalence, Eventually Replacing PCs

The idea of users on their own personal clouds has proven to have future viability, according to a study released by Gartner (News - Alert). The research firm has recently shown that computers will continue to evolve the same way print did over two hundred years ago. The rising prevalence of a mobile workforce – laptop, smartphone and tablet users – means the diversity of mobile devices in the workplace and outside it incite the need for cloud services overall.

Ensuring data security and infrastructure integrity, and combining social media with business processes, are all prospects better served with cloud services. Users access innovative technology and applications immediately, though the need to manage and track the growth will be necessary.

"Major trends in client computing have shifted the market away from a focus on personal computers to a broader device perspective that includes smartphones, tablets and other consumer devices,” according to Steve Kleynhans, research vice president at Gartner. “Emerging cloud services will become the glue that connects the web of devices that users choose to access during the different aspects of their daily life."

While significant obstacles to cloud-centered computing remain in software and application development, analysts foresee a change. As mobile and cloud use inside and outside organizations becomes norm, IT will have to provide infrastructure support, interoperability and application development – and the technologies for implementing cloud platforms will continue to mature. The increase in Web and mobile applications, as well as the expansion of Web 2.0, SaaS (News - Alert) (Software as a Service) and cloud computing in general, means the need for applications expertise will continue to grow and keep pace as the demand expands.

"Users will employ a collection of devices with the PC remaining one of many options, but no one device will be the primary hub,” said Kleyhans. “Rather, the personal cloud will take on that role. Access to the cloud and the content stored or shared in the cloud will be managed and secured, rather than solely focusing on the device itself."

Knowledge workers today increasingly expect instant online access via the types of laptops, smartphones and tablets they use outside of work. As companies seek to bridge the divide between work and home environments, and the different levels of technology found there, the cloud is becoming more important – not to mention the level of cost savings companies and users can accrue.

IT services and the range of mobile devices in use have shown how cloud services are at the forefront of creating user and device connectivity. In many respects, the door to cloud prevalence has already opened, and its use is a factor in today’s business and home environments.

Edited by Braden Becker

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