Are Telecoms Ready to Lead the Way?

The battle for the future of computing was covered in Newsweek recently. The article made me think more about the speed at which mobile technology is changing our world than about how the top companies in desktop computing must shift their focus to mobile devices to remain relevant.

Envision this…in the very near future, you might be using your mobile device to pay for your morning cup of coffee at Starbuck’s. Your mobile device might become your driver’s license and credit card. With M2M technology, we can foresee a smart home where you control your air conditioner, lights, and the charging of your electric car. For many of us, our mobile phones already function as a GPS and mini-computer connecting us to people and organizing our lives.

The Rapid Pace of Change

Changes are coming rapidly. The move from mainframes to client server took over ten years, but it seems that the move from client server to cloud computing won’t take nearly that long. PCs are being replaced by smart phones and tablets. According to some predictions, by 2013, a decade after their launch, there will be one billion smart phones in the world. That’s roughly the number of PCs that exist today, three decades after the machine was introduced.  It is projected that 2011 will be the year that more people will access the Internet by smart phones than by personal computers.

Reducing the “Digital Divide”

What’s going to happen when most of the people on earth carry a device that gives them access to much of the world’s information? For commerce, politics, and education, the implications are profound. The mobile revolution could mean transparency and accountability for governments, or the ability to spy more easily on citizens. The advent of low-cost mobile devices will allow people in developing nations to see the rest of the world and participate in it. The information age is finally reaching the deepest rural areas of the emerging markets and, at the same time, reducing the “digital divide.” The lack of a wired infrastructure in the developing world makes wireless devices particularly attractive. Their introduction has spurred microcredit and increased entrepreneurship. With the vast subscriber base of many service providers, the convergence of cutting edge technology and telecoms brings both opportunity and responsibility.

The convergence also changes the IT needs of many enterprises and small and medium-sized businesses (SMB): they’ll rely more heavily on their technology service providers for cloud, hosted, and outsourced services. With an infrastructure in place and a cloud computing vision, telecoms are well-positioned to lead us into the biggest technology market that’s ever existed.

Are we ready?
The Networking Exchange Blog Team About NEB Team