April 26, 2012
What a difference a year makes. A year ago many critics were still talking about the "cloud" as if it were a massive amount of hype.
That has changed completely – no one dismisses the cloud any more.
At the same time, what has dawned on the information industry – IT and telecom – is the realization that the cloud is really going to be accessed overwhelmingly from mobile devices. Yes, that means what is really critical is the mobile cloud.
The new Heavy Reading study, "The Mobile Cloud: Ready or Not, Here It Comes," provides a strategic overview of why and how the mobile cloud is going to develop at an ever-accelerating rate, and the implications that development will have on the telecom and IT industries.
Make no mistake – those implications are enormous. The mobile cloud is going to be the battleground on which the interests of a stunning list of powerful companies and industry segments come crashing together. These include not only the giant carriers (Verizon, AT&T) and mobile device makers (Apple, Samsung), but also a full contingent of Internet-based companies and software giants (Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook and more).
At least six key factors are driving the mobile cloud and this inevitable conflict.
Mobile broadband. With the surging growth of mobile broadband, broadband has decisively become a mobile phenomenon, causing all parties to scramble for mobile strategies.
A coming traffic deluge. This deluge is massively greater than the industry is forecasting, or seems willing to even address; the telecom industry appears to be in a state of denial about the true outlook for mobile data growth.
The unstoppable evolution of mobile devices. Mobile device evolution is being fueled by profits. The device industry has a ton of money to spend and its financial muscle dwarfs that of the carriers or any other parties that try to stand in its way.
The advancement toward 4G networks, and beyond. LTE is on the way and will further propel the growth of demand.
The exploding applications world. Apps are increasingly being designed with an eye toward relying on a cloud.
User empowerment. This is an uncontrollable wild card, changing the relationship between users and providers at every level.
These drivers will propel the mobile cloud to overwhelm cloud computing in a few short years. Everything from the simplest personal clouds to enterprise software will be caught up in this monumental development.
User expectations are going to combine with competitive strategies of a wide range of players to accelerate the development of the mobile cloud. Today users increasingly have multiple devices – largely multiple wireless devices. They have high expectations as to service enablement, as shown in studies from a broad range of sources, such as comScore.
It is already clear that user expectations as to the usefulness of their devices cannot be met without a wide range of cloud offerings and capabilities.
Meanwhile the incentives for the Web-based companies that are increasingly invading telecom – think Apple, Google, Microsoft – are to expand cloud capabilities as fast as possible. This is confirmed by announcements of the iCloud (Apple – October 2011); Google Drive (Google – April 2012); and the upcoming announcement of the integration of Cloud Drive into Windows 8 (Microsoft – due by late 2012).
The mobile cloud is complex, with many facets. It is filled with opportunity and risk. But it is the future – ready or not.
— Victor Schnee, President of BSG Advisory LLC
For more information about Heavy Reading's "The Mobile Cloud: Ready or Not, Here It Comes," please contact:
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