Light Reading
The mobile cloud is poised to be the biggest thing going in telecom and IT, and companies that don't move now risk missing the boat

The Mobile Cloud: Opportunities & Threats

Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
1/25/2013
50%
50%

I met with an investor from China recently. When I told him my major interest today was the mobile cloud, he became quite animated, and agreed, saying, "That is the biggest development in all of telecom and IT." This would hardly be remarkable, except for the fact that I don't find that there is much recognition of, or agreement with, this statement in the industry today. The new Heavy Reading study, "Mobile Cloud Apps: The Driving Factors," reveals a seething world of emerging services and functionalities, all geared to mobile devices and users and built on mobile clouds. These developments stretch across verticals, from health and automotive to many others, and incorporate capabilities ranging from speech input/output to artificial reality, facial recognition and much more. Yet many don't even recognize or understand the mobile cloud today. This is obvious from what is transpiring in the enterprise space. Enterprises are struggling to deal with the "cloud" and they have issues dealing with the spread of mobile – summarized in the slogans BYOD, "bring your own device," and "consumerization." But these are viewed as two distinct and separate issues: 1) cloud and 2) mobile. If we look at typical enterprise motivations and objectives, they are probably about as follows, in many cases:

  • Protect the value, security and long-term viability of their huge investment in legacy systems and databases.
  • Deal with the plethora of issues surrounding migration of systems and functionality to the cloud in general.
  • Deal with issues surrounding mobile access for their employees.
  • Figure out how to address expanded access to information systems for partners (e.g., distributors, suppliers) and even customers.
As for non-enterprises, industry participants, close observers of the industry and others, we run into an attitude best summarized as: "Yes, the cloud will be very big phenomenon. But mobile will just be one way of accessing the cloud. So why worry about the mobile cloud?" This is soothing, but short-sighted. With the potential for 3 billion or more mobile devices to be accessing the mobile cloud in the next three to five years, mobile will not be simply "one way of accessing the cloud." It will be what the cloud is all about – the mobile cloud. Those that wait around are risking a lot. Very big companies often assume that they can be late in major developments and their vast resources will allow them to recover and forcefully gain leading positions. It doesn't really work that way. We saw this with Microsoft in the '90s, content to be late to both the Internet and mobile. They never recovered leading positions and are now threatened by companies that were insignificant, or nonexistent, at the time. Today, leading companies that dawdle about the mobile cloud are running major risks. Just as the Google/Facebook-era companies of the '90s and early 2000s have turned into giants, it's time to address the mobile cloud before "no-names" – maybe a FeedHenry or Airbiquity or Castlight, or any of a horde of emerging players – wind up overrunning your business. This certainly applies to the laptop and desktop computer makers. The mobile cloud supplies storage and processing power for a host of devices, from tablets to smartphones to thin and very thin clients. Only a limited segment of the market will need local (in the device) processing and storage capability. The telecom carriers are threatened with more and more means of bypass and diversion of customer business and control as the mobile cloud proliferates. For enterprises, the mobile explosion is changing the nature of assets that need to be managed and accounted for, with corresponding changes to the fundamental structure of IT departments and responsibilities. Moreover, it is becoming clear that, increasingly, business experimentation with new products and marketing will be done through the cloud. The markets that can be reached are billions of mobile devices, and they will be relying on the mobile cloud. As my friend said, the mobile cloud will be "the biggest development in all of telecom and IT" – full of opportunities ... and threats. -- Victor Schnee, President of BSG Advisory LLC, special to Heavy Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
More Blogs from Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
The challenges associated with small cell deployments, the impact of virtualization, and the demand for dark fiber are just some of the topics to be debated at the upcoming Backhaul Strategies conference in New York City.
The news that Apple's new iPhone 6 will now support Voice over LTE kind of a big deal.
Network functions virtualization is the key catalyst underpinning telco data center transformation, believes Nokia Networks.
The growth of the smartphone market is creating a new testing ground for vendors that must find a way to keep ahead of the game.
As more and more applications move into the cloud, enterprises must ensure that those clouds are rigorously tested for performance.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Is your network built on 'The Old IP,' or are you part of 'The New IP' revolution?
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Innovating Access Technology With G.fast

10|1|14   |   3.42   |   (0) comments


Exploring the potential of G.fast technology from the point of view of the Broadband Forum, Huawei – and an end-user.
LRTV Documentaries
A Cultural Shift for an OTT World

9|26|14   |   01:41   |   (3) comments


Telcos need to embrace a new approach to partnerships if they are to generate extra revenues quickly and give customers what they want.
LRTV Documentaries
New Skills Needed as Telecom, IT Collide

9|26|14   |   4:07   |   (1) comment


As telecom and IT collide, new technologies are emerging, new skills are needed and new opportunities for women are arising.
UBB Forum News
Do IP Networks Need An Overhaul?

9|25|14   |   02:01   |   (0) comments


As traffic levels ramp, do IP networks need new technologies and topologies?
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint Wields Its Influence in the Valley

9|25|14   |   3:09   |   (11) comments


Anne-Louise Kardas, Sprint's connection to startups in the Valley, explains how telcos can be innovative and find new opportunities with partners.
LRTV Documentaries
SDN, NFV & The Future of XO's Network

9|25|14   |   3:47   |   (1) comment


XO Communications COO Don MacNeil explains how cloud, SDN and NFV are altering its network requirements as well as changing data centers of the future.
UBB Forum News
The OTT Conundrum

9|24|14   |   01:39   |   (0) comments


What is holding back prosperous partnerships between telcos and the OTT players?
LRTV Documentaries
Putting Broadband to Work

9|24|14   |   01:26   |   (0) comments


High-speed broadband network rollout is key to telco strategies, but it's what happens after the network is built that counts.
Light Reedy
Light Reading's Women in Telecom Recap

9|24|14   |   0:55   |   (4) comments


Our first Women in Telecom breakfast was a huge success, and we hope you'll join us in London for the next event on November 6.
UBB Forum News
Monetizing Ultra-Broadband

9|24|14   |   01:43   |   (2) comments


Ultra-broadband networks need to be built, with fiber-to-the-premises the ultimate goal, but they need to be monetized, too.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sales Director of INIT on Plug & Play Switch Devices

9|19|14   |   3:21   |   (0) comments


INIT Italy uses both the Huawei S5700 and S7700 series switches for the campus LAN environment. Sales Director Andrea Curti says their company chose these Huawei devices over others because of their performance, flexible scalability and plug-and-play features.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Saudi Arabia Upgrades Vocational Training System

9|19|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


The Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) has 100,000 students, 150 government-owned institutions and oversees 1000 private institutes. The CIO of TVTC explains that Huawei devices have allowed them to manage multiple datacenters using just one software program, scientifically tracking the progress of students and teachers, saving them millions.
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Half of the world's population will be connected to the Internet by 2017, but not just by smartphones and desktops.
Hot Topics
Facebook Pokes Around LTE Direct
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/25/2014
Is Redbox Instant Shutting Down?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 9/30/2014
Sprint Wields Its Influence in the Valley
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/25/2014
US Ignite Cultivates Gigabit Apps
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 9/25/2014
SoftBank Eyes a DreamWorks Buy – Report
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/29/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed