A thought-provoking article by David Lithicum that recently appeared in InfoWorld asked  ”What will ‘cloud computing’ mean in 10 years?”  He wrote “In a decade, cloud computing will encompass pervasive services, public and private data — but will be rarely discussed. In 10 years, pervasive cloud services will be the standard for assembling business solutions. We will leverage core services that either exist within our enterprise or from public cloud providers to assemble and reassemble business solutions. These services will be utility-based, perhaps primitive storage and compute or security and governance or more sophisticated business uses, such as market forecasting services.”

And I agree. Today, mobility and the Internet of Things are considered an entirely different ecosystem – one with its own security solutions, its own network, and its own applications. In ten years, mobility will be as common and pervasive as the Internet. Mobility and cloud computing will be the foundation of all IT services. Industry analysts won’t be discussing the decline of PCs anymore, while IT leaders will be supporting multiple devices per person and managing data from a multitude of sensor-enabled equipment.

Up next: an accelerating move to mobile

Over the next several years, new mobile operating systems and devices will force companies to change how applications and business processes are designed. Employees and customers are demanding real-time, on-demand access to applications on mobile devices. CIOs must find a way to mobile-enable business applications and processes, such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), in a way that is usable on mobile devices. Businesses must also find a way to support customers accessing pertinent information on the go. Future mobile applications must be device-aware, location-aware and network aware.

Mobility and cloud computing will change how applications and processes are constructed. Employees will be able to securely authenticate to corporate services on multiple device such as a desk phone in a client’s office or a screen at the hotel. Work will become increasingly location independent. However, the biggest change will be the move to context-aware application and services.  Contextual data from connected devices will be merged with data from various sources such as internal corporate apps and Web-accessible data to build better services. We can see examples of this today with products like GE’s RtOI or Streetline’s ParkSight and Parker Mobile App. Future contextual services will deliver an employee or customer the proper information at the moment of need. Companies will reshape their business models, increase collaboration, and improve customer relationships with new contextual services. In ten years we’ll stop talking about mobile and focus on the business value these technologies provide.

How will mobile and cloud change your business? How are you preparing for the future?

 

Maribel Lopez is the CEO and mobile market strategist for Lopez Research, a market research and strategy consulting firm that specializes in communications technologies with a heavy emphasis on the disruptive nature of mobile technologies. AT&T has sponsored this blog post.