The Cloud's Secret Ingredient: Smartphones - InformationWeek

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Commentary
6/11/2010
04:04 PM
John Soat
John Soat
Commentary
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The Cloud's Secret Ingredient: Smartphones

A new survey reveals that many experts feel that cloud computing and smartphones go together like vodka and Red Bull. What does that mean for IT managers? Fasten your seat belts, we're in for a bumpy ride.

A new survey reveals that many experts feel that cloud computing and smartphones go together like vodka and Red Bull. What does that mean for IT managers? Fasten your seat belts, we're in for a bumpy ride.

The Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life project recently conducted the fourth iteration of its "Future of the Internet" survey, this time about the future of cloud computing. The online, opt-in survey involved about 900 "technology stakeholders and critics" representing organizations as diverse as Microsoft, the RAND Corp., and The New York Times, according to Pew.

Here, cloud computing means the public cloud (as in Hotmail, Google Docs, and social networking sites) and the use-case is mostly consumer driven. However, we all know that the consumerization of IT dictates that wherever consumers go, technology-wise, corporations eventually will follow.

According to the survey, almost three-quarters of respondents (71%) agree with this statement: "By 2020, most people … will work in Internet-based applications such as Google Docs, and in applications run from smartphones. Aspiring application developers will develop for smartphone vendors and companies that provide Internet-based applications, because most innovative work will be done in that domain, instead of designing applications that run on a PC operating system."

Many IT managers are still struggling with how (or even whether) to support employee-owned smartphones on corporate networks, much less designing applications that leverage the proliferation of those devices. InformationWeek editor Chris Murphy wrote an interesting blog about that topic.

As for corporate-developed applications for employee-owned smartphones that interact with public-cloud resources such as social network sites, well, those are about as prevalent as Obama supporters at a Tea Party rally.

But that is what the mobile Internet is all about: accessing resources, processing and interactions, from wherever the user is trying to access them, wherever they are available on the Internet. The increasing use of smartphone services such as messaging and Internet downloading demonstrates that the future workforce is already training itself for those mobile Internet, cloud-based capabilities. Corporate IT managers will need to be ready.A new survey reveals that many experts feel that cloud computing and smartphones go together like vodka and Red Bull. What does that mean for IT managers? Fasten your seat belts, we're in for a bumpy ride.

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