There’s no doubt that cloud computing is taking the world by storm. While the IT gurus have been talking about cloud computing for several years now, true consumer applications of the technology have been few and far between. In the past twelve months, however, we’ve seen the widespread popularization of cloud storage applications, as well as the advent of other cloud solutions.
So, where do we go from here? What’s next in the world of cloud computing, and what will we see in the days to come?
Here are some of the likely trends we’ll see coming over the next 10 years or so:
· Cloud applications will expand beyond storage and email. Arguably, consumers have been using cloud computing solutions for more than a decade in the form of email services like Gmail or Hotmail. Over the past year, the market for online storage solutions in the cloud has grown markedly. Over the next decade, we’ll see more and more functions and applications moved to cloud providers.
· Cloud-enabled devices will blossom. There are some devices that naturally fit into a cloud-computing environment. Your home security system, for example, could benefit from cloud-based services. Tablets will also continue to gain ground as convergence devices, in part thanks to the cloud. At the same time, we’ll see plenty of extraneous cloud-enabled devices, such as the cloud refrigerator.
· Wireless Internet will continue to grow. Municipalities that have been considering installing wireless coverage for their entire community will be even more compelled to do so, as so many critical applications move to the cloud (and therefore require Internet connectivity).
· Third party cloud solutions will rise, and then fall. Google and Apple are locked in a struggle that’s not going to end anytime soon. Because of that, there will be many third-party solutions that will be usable on both iOS and Android devices equally. Over time, however, the major players will either come to a common platform and set of cloud computing standards, or one will overtake the other. Either way, the third party providers are likely to fall by the wayside, even after an initial surge.
· Even small businesses will use cloud computing solutions. Up to this point, enterprises and large businesses have been the ones implementing cloud solutions. Going forward, more and more small businesses will turn to the cloud for things like accounting needs, CRM, and more.
Cloud computing may well be one of the most significant technologies to hit the Internet since the advent of social media. Its full impact will play out over many years to come.