Guest Post by: Kevin Tea from Web2andmore.net
Cloud computing is Going to Be Big, Very Big
But if you are sitting at your office desk and you have kick started Google Apps and you are smugly thinking you are at the bleedin’ edge of business technology I have some bad news for you. You have missed the boat! The real power of cloud computing is probably at this very moment lying on your desk waiting for you to pick it up. I am talking about your mobile phone.
Well, to be totally honest it’s not just any mobile phone, you have to invest in the latest smartphone hardware such as a Blackberry, Android or the inevitable iPhone – forget Symbian and Windows Mobile, they are dead in the water. So if you were thinking of an excuse to get rid of that ancient housebrick that has been creating bulges in your jacket pocket and makes you look as though you are carrying a Uzi then this is it.
Now I am not saying that you will be able to run your whole business from a smartphone nor would I advocate trying to re-write War and Peace with such a device, but there is now greater flexibility to work how you want to rather than be surgically attached to a desktop computer.
Interestingly, the seed of mobile cloud computing can be found decades back when someone in the United States Navy had a brainwave. Each ship set to sea with a veritable rain forest of manuals for everything from the microwave in the galley to the helicopters parked on the aft deck. What they did was remove several tons of paperwork and if anything went wrong they simply pumped the relevant documentation through secure channels and the engineer could read this and fix the problem. This ensured that not only was the documentation up to date but that the vessel got more “knots per nautical mile” because it wasn’t carrying as much unwanted weight. But I digress.
Just today I needed some in formation in a document I had prepared at home and stored in the cloud using a service called Dropbox. Instead of driving home or having to wait until I returned later this evening, I fired up the Dropbox app on my HTC Android phone and downloaded the document to my smartphone. Similarly I had started to write this article at home using Google Docs but as my works firewall won’t let me access that site I simply had to download it using the Google Docs app on my phone to see what I had written so far.
Cloud computing is all about data accessibility and much is made of the fact that you can access all your information from another PC anywhere in the world or the much quoted laptop while sitting in a coffee shop. But unless you are (a) utterly anally retentive (b) a black belt in neuro-linguistic programming or (c) just very organized life doesn’t work like that. The Four F Syndrome – that’s the Fickle Finger of Fate – generally decrees that you need to access data when there is no absolutely chance of doing so.
Which is where the mobile cloud comes into its own. After all, who goes out to dinner or the cinema and takes the laptop just on the off-chance that you need to get hold of some information relating to your work or social life? However, the odds of you carrying your smartphone are extremely high and whatever you need is but a couple of finger presses away.
With the potential of the mobile cloud now being realised there’s a new breed of device such as touch screen tablets and general smartphones being developed where the screen real estate is larger to enable users to easily read documents and view videos etc without risking blindness or a migraine. Also, a lot of the website services developed for desktop or laptop computers beautifully migrate to these smaller devices. You can read about how I use various social media and cloud computing resources on my blog.
I find the level of symbiosis between new models of hardware and software development quite uncanny. It wasn’t that long ago when you were looked at in awe – or pity – because you could pick up emails on your mobile phone. Now hardly a month goes by without higher degrees of functionality being rolled out. Sure, there is some, how can I put this nicely, crap out there but by and large there re some seriously revolutionary packages out there waiting for you to fall over them.
In fact it is getting to the point where we can say “The answer is yes; what is the question?”
About the Author
Kevin Tea is a journalist and marketing communications of more years than he cares to remember. A four-year project with the European Commission made him realise that technology had the ability to empower and liberate. This has led to him introducing small to medium-sized businesses to cloud computing and social media through his Web2 and More (http://www.web2andmore.net) website.
As well as writing his own blog and guest posting on many others he was a contributing author to Webweaving – Intranets, Extranets and Strategic Alliances along with someone called Bill Gates. He is currently writing his own book on clouds computing for SMBs.
Follow Kevin on Twitter @kevincumbria
Check out Kevin’s Blog: www.web2andmore.net
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