Are Mobile Apps Easing the Acceptance of Cloud?

By Adam Elhassen, Global Services Development Manager, Xerox Global Document Outsourcing; Enterprise Print Services

‘The Cloud’ is everywhere, there’s no denying that. But does the presence of cloud mean that it is used everywhere?  My hunch is that most would answer “no,” but I’m sure the majority of these same people, as a simple example, have a cloud based email account. So, would the “no” shift to a “yes” after a little more consideration?

Now certainly there are caveats saying that cloud is used or needed everywhere, but most likely users aren’t even aware when and how they are using cloud services today. And frankly, if the cloud has done its job, a typical user shouldn’t be aware. Users simply need to access their data. Oh, and let’s not forget the occasional game or two trying to outwit your friends. Maybe that’s part of the challenge with the adoption of cloud – a disconnect between what users need to do and how it gets done.

mobile apps on the iPhone in the cloud
Image Credit: Mobile Applications Development UK

At some level, it’s cloud concepts that provide for internet searches, email information exchanges, common cell phone calls or even playing an mobile app game.

Why isn’t there an issue with some of these traditional cloud based services and what makes 2011 cloud discussions so different? Is it sheer volume of information, types of information, increased accessibility, legal considerations, control, personal data and privacy protections?  Yes, yes, yes and more yes. These are all considerations when looking to shift to cloud.

Which brings me to a topic that has the potential to accelerate the penetration and acceptance of cloud – mobile apps. Apple alone has over 500K apps available to their users and Android has another 200K.

Will the popularity and consistent increase in app activity pave the way for quicker acceptance of the cloud?

Following basic supply-demand principles, I’d say yes. Ultimately, users – corporate and consumer – are demanding mobility. Users are looking for apps to help with daily activities… many of which can’t be provided without leveraging some element of a cloud architecture. Will this demand increase corporations willingness and readiness to embrace cloud? And in parallel, will this same demand help focus app developers and cloud providers to strengthen their strategies for data security, information protections and more?


Stay tuned for more mobile-related posts as we explore mobility in the enterprise leading up to mNext – IDC’s MobileNext Forum – on Nov. 30-Dec. 1.

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