Device-agnostic Clouds Will Replace the PC

Photo: Karen Ka Ying Wong/Flickr


The Clouds Roll In…

Will the personal cloud reign supreme over the personal computer in your digital life?

Chances are, the answer is yes, according to research firm Gartner, which believes the personal cloud will replace the PC as the center of our digital lives by 2014.

“Major trends in client computing have shifted the market away from a focus on personal computers to a broader device perspective that includes smartphones, tablets and other consumer devices,” Steve Kleynhans, says research vice president at Gartner. “Emerging cloud services will become the glue that connects the web of devices that users choose to access during the different aspects of their daily life.”

This will require enterprises to “fundamentally rethink how they deliver applications and services to users.”

Smart businesses and executives will treat cloud computing as a strategy to improve their company.

Gartner says a number of factors are converging to create a perfect personal cloud storm by 2014. Just some of the reasons include:

  • Users are more technologically-savvy and have very different expectations of technology.
  • The internet and social media have empowered and emboldened users.
  • The rise of powerful, affordable mobile devices changes the equation for users.
  • Users have become innovators.

Through the democratization of technology, users of all types and status within organizations can now have similar technology available to them.

The advent of the cloud for servicing individual users opens a whole new level of opportunity. Every user can now have a scalable and nearly infinite set of resources available for whatever they need to do….

“The combination of these megatrends, coupled with advances in new enabling technologies, is ushering in the era of the personal cloud,” Gartner’s Kleynhans said. “In this new world, the specifics of devices will become less important for the organization to worry about. Users will use a collection of devices, with the PC remaining one of many options, but no one device will be the primary hub. Rather, the personal cloud will take on that role. Access to the cloud and the content stored or shared in the cloud will be managed and secured, rather than solely focusing on the device itself.”

Jon Udell, blogger for Cloudline, writes:

The cloud platform has become a real option for companies needing managed, pay-as-you-use IT capacity…I see signs of the personal cloud in services like Dropbox, Evernote, and Flickr. You can use them for free, or you can pay for higher capacity and enhanced customer service. But the personal cloud also arises from a way of thinking about, and using, any of the services the web provides.

Your turn: Will you abandon your your personal computer and move the personal cloud to the center of your digital life?

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