The Cloud And Mobile Computing

There is a revolution underway in the world of computing that is resulting in a sea change in the way we use IT. The two main drivers of this revolution are the cloud and mobile computing, supported by ubiquitous broadband internet access, which have grown together in tandem and to a large extent are symbiotic.

To some extent this is reinvention of what we did in the past when all computers were mainframes accesses by dumb terminals. The intelligence resided completely within the mainframe which stored and processed all the data and the terminal was simply an interface to access the mainframe’s content.

Over the years mainframes downsized into mini-computers and then in the 1980 the personal computer arrived. Essentially we transitioned from distributed computing to personal computing, but it is to distribute computing that we are returning with the cloud.

But this is distributed computing with a big difference from the computing of the 1960s and 1970s; this time it is going mobile. We are already buying as many mobile devices as we are buying PCs and before long the sales of smartphones and tablet computers will completely dominate the personal computing market.

Sales of PCs have flattened out and PC manufacturers are beginning to hit the rocks, while tablet computer sales are growing at a remarkable 200 percent a year and the market is attracting more traditional PC vendors.

One result of the increasing popularity of tablets is that users soon discover how powerful they really are; in fact tablet users use their tablets for around 80 percent of all their computing tasks, and use their desktops only for heavy tasks such as image processing and large spreadsheets.

The analogy with the 1960’s and 70s is that cloud computing and email are becoming the equivalent of the mainframe and it is there that we will store and process all our data, archive emails and files, and perform all our number crunching operations, and we will access the cloud via our mobile devices. This is particulary prevalent with the increase in smarter more powerful mobile devices which allows individuals to in effect manage both their work and leisure via cloud data storage.

We will also have multiple screens including smartphones, tablets and fixed computers and smart televisions and we will be able to use the one that is most convenient at the time, using the cloud as a centralised backbone that supports these activities. Similarly in the workplace hardware and systems will be remotely accessed via the cloud.

Image courtesy of Kittisak at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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