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Cloud Computing Highlights of 2012
2012 has been a takeoff year for cloud computing, there have been no real major breakthroughs yet no setbacks as well, but that is not to say that the field has been asleep overall, we have seen a continued growth in terms of support and adoption including the emergence of new types of services on offer. There have been a lot of improvements in the technology and also a lot of new directions taken that we have yet to see if they will lead to success or not. Let us take a look back a whole year at the state of cloud computing so far.
- Wide adoption in media and entertainment – the cloud has proven its potential for the storage and delivery of media and entertainment elements mainly because of the introduction of high speed data communication standards like 4G and LTE. It has become easier to store, retrieve, and deliver media from the cloud. We are seeing a trend in consumer adoption of services like Dropbox, Box, Microsoft SkyDrive, Google Drive, iCloud, Netflix and Spotify. This may also be the reason why a lot of smartphone manufacturers chose to remove the expandable memory options from their devices like Google’s Nexus 4 by LG and the Nexus 7 tablet by Asus. HTC also did not include expandable storage on their new Droid DNA.
- Emergence of new services in the SaaS space – what this means is that not only are we now storing and retrieving data from the cloud, we are now also embracing the possibilities of on-cloud processing. A very good example is On Live’s game services, allowing gamers to play any PC or console game on their tablets and smartphones via the cloud. We are also seeing a big adoption of Hosted Desktops which allows for workshifting and better business continuity solutions.
- Social collaboration and integration – Social and cloud collaboration allows for applications that enrich the supply and demand chain of relationships which improve customer awareness and loyalty. It has allowed crowdsourcing of product designs and even allows startup companies to achieve their goals through social collaboration sites like kickstarter.com. Facebook is the biggest social networking and collaboration site which now allows for better interaction between companies and consumers through various social marketing strategies like games and contests. All of these became easy and second nature due to cloud integration.
- Mobile and location services and e-commerce – mobile and location services allows marketers to pinpoint advertisements and services wherever you are. For example if you are in downtown Detroit, a location service can point you to the nearest coffee shop or give suggestions for the best dining experiences in the area based on user reviews and social integration. It may even allow you to order food from a local fast food drive through a few blocks away through the cloud and pay electronically so that by the time you arrive, they will simply hand in your food, a literal drive through!
Surely business minded people will find new ways to monetize the cloud and bring better value service to consumers and the industry alike. I see no downside except maybe people getting lazier, but such is the future we are building ourselves.
By Abdul Salam