The Decade Ahead: Cloud Revolution

The single most important technology change of our time is happening around the cloud. Entire industries are being changed or made obsolete. The world as we know it is changing fast.

Examples of what has changed:

  • Paper-based maps and manual navigation have been replaced with cloud-based maps and GPS systems.
  • Photography has shifted from film-based to digital, with processing and often photo albums primarily cloud-based.
  • Books are moving from paper-based to electronic paper or digital, with cloud-based ordering and digital library functions.
  • Email systems are transitioning from on-premises to cloud-based solutions.
  • Print media and advertising have largely gone online.
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) systems have moved online.

And examples of what is likely:

  • Enterprise telephony will shift from on-premises PBX to cloud-based VoIP solutions.
  • Home-based landlines will be replaced by mobile phones.
  • Backup and recovery systems will move to the cloud.
  • Systems management will move to the cloud.
  • Archiving and compliance will move to the cloud.
  • E-discovery solutions will move to the cloud.
  • Systems with heavy processing requirements will shift to elastic compute technologies.
  • File storage will move from local computer-based or external hard drive-based to primarily cloud-based.
  • What remains of fax will disappear.
  • Human-operator-based conference call bridges will go away.
  • Translation services will be mainly automated and go online.
  • Paper-based billing will be completely replaced by online.

In each case, the primary technologies and delivery mechanisms will move to the cloud. On-premises solutions will become the exception, not the norm.

As you navigate town with your GPS, BlackBerry by your side, with your new Kindle reading your ebooks to you via text-to-speech as you drive, we suggest you reflect on this. The shift towards the cloud is compelling, and in some ways, irresistible.

...David Sengupta

One Comment

  1. Posted January 10, 2010 at 9:12 PM | Permalink

    Hi David,

    Nice roundup! It’s amazing how much has changed in the past decade. Sometimes it seems like obstacles to new technology are impossible in the near-term but when you reflect back over 10 years like you did, you see how much is truly possible.

    Happy new year!


  2. Art Rosenberg
    Posted January 11, 2010 at 4:56 PM | Permalink

    We started the journey towards the “cloud” back in the early days of the Internet, with the development of “time-shared” mainframe comp[uters to provide interactive, on -line applications. Unfortunately, the arrival of PCs shifted the potential of on-line services to premise-based servers and desktop computers. However, with wireless mobility and handheld devices that must rely on remote application servers, the need for “cloud-based” services is back.

    The big problem now appears to be one of standardization of mobile device platforms that will allow all types of mobile devices to utilize any “cloud” application without too much customization. In particular, the flexibility of unified communications (UC)will be needed by mobile users who may need speech input/outpu interfaces rather than visual ones on a dynamically circumstantial basis. UC include contacts initiated by business process applications, not just other people (CEBP).

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