Mobile Cloud Computing: What Does The Future Hold?
When industry pundits forecast in 2006 that the usage need of data would surpass that of the voice market, not many could not conceptualize such a market outlook. Five years later and the ratio would pitch data market at nearly 70% of the mobile market and growing. The mobile technology has witnessed tremendous advances in recent years such that experts have reckoned that mobile cloud will colligate cloud computing in the next few years.
Mobile cloud computing is set to impact and transform the mobile communication landscape and the whole computing infrastructure. This means that cloud computing services, whether at home or at the work place, is getting more accessible and more utilized. So what more does the future hold for mobile cloud computing?
Mobile cloud-enabled and cloud-based services will inevitably rise to new heights as it is evidenced by recent market surveys. In a world where hundreds of thousands of mobile apps are churned out daily, cloud computing services have formed an integral part of many third-party app developers. A survey (Q2 2012) by Appcelerator showed a fascinating trend whereby 84% of the respondents (third-party developers) reported to using a cloud enabled or cloud based services in their daily applications. Companies are betting big on this trend e.g Microsoft has come up with a Microsoft Windows Phone Mango, a cloud platform integration on mobile devices. Some of these mobile applications are available for free while others are purchased and others are just links that will work in any or compatible browsers. In translation, all this could mean applications access that comes in more than one format but they will use the cloud to store and process your data and services respectively, all remotely from the cloud as opposed to your device.
There is a trend dubbed the BYOD (bring your own device) that is being embraced universally by organizations and businesses. This can be attributed to the entry of powerful portable devices like IPads, Tablets and Smart Phones and complemented by cloud computing. Cisco in a recent study reported that more than 90% of organizations supported the use of these portable devices and more and more of these mobiles will depend on the cloud. According to the CTO at Cisco, Padmasree Warrior, this trend is beneficial and will continue to grow because it is essential in improving productivity by enabling employees to work from anywhere at anytime.
What is influencing the inevitable mobile computing upsurge? For starters, there is an influx of adapted mobile devices (smart phones, IPads, Tablets) that are also encouraging advance in mobile Operating Systems like Android and IOS which are slowly phasing out the basic handheld devices. The mobile networks are too advanced and we can now easily access “4G” networks, with more bandwidth to complement the efficiency of the cloud.
In a word, the evolution of mobile cloud computing has already taken off and we are on course to witness more integration of the mobile and the cloud for various applications and services. The few challenges, both anticipated and unanticipated, will see the market surge on and gorge out a technological course of its own.
By John Omwamba