The way people acquire and use computing resources is rapidly changing. In the past, individuals would use personal computers, or PCs, for virtually every task, as the devices enabled nearly anytime access to sensitive or important digital assets. Today’s world is much different, however, especially since the dawn of the smartphone and tablet, making the computing endpoint market much more diverse. Now instead of using a PC, people have turned to cloud computing.
The personal cloud model is gaining momentum outside the workplace because of its ability to provide seamless connectivity between information and computing devices, regardless of make, model or platform type, according to a report by Gartner. As consumers continue to leverage a multitude of smartphones, tablets and other gadgets, they will demand an independent environment separate from any particular endpoint.
“Cognizant computing evolves the connected device and personal cloud service into an activity of seamless and frictionless integration connected to sensor-driven ‘invisible’ devices that are optimized for a particular set of functions,” said Michael Gartenberg, research director at Gartner. “This data and information can then be tied to other services across larger ecosystems, platforms and operating systems.”
The natural evolution of computing
Cloud infrastructure and cognizant environments represent the next natural step in computing’s transformation into a more reliable and convenient service, Gartner noted. Rather than solely being driven by the proliferation of smartphones, tablets and other devices, computing’s future relies on the ongoing use of applications that can be accessed via multiple mediums.
Analysts said this increased use of advanced software has made solutions aware of their surroundings, providing users with more relevant information in a timely manner. This evolution is especially important as it makes its way into the business world, helping companies capture, analyze and leverage data effectively. Because software is now ubiquitous and not reliant on a particular device, individuals don’t have to make a long-term commitment to a single platform.
“Personal cloud services and ecosystems are now the center of the digital consumer experience,” Gartenberg said. “Combined with increasingly ubiquitous connections, cognizant devices offer new opportunities to drive new device adoption, grow personal cloud services and act as a tipping point for consumer platform adoption.”
A separate report by MarketsandMarkets said the global personal cloud market is forecasted to expand at a compound annual growth rate of more than 46 percent between 2013 and 2018, increasing from $6.6 billion to $43.5 billion, respectively. This surge will be driven largely by consumer and small business adoption, providing users in and outside of the workplace with more effective computing technologies.
MarketsandMarkets noted that bring your own device policies, the ever-increasing mobile workforce, the ongoing demand for remote access and the proliferation of data in general are all playing critical roles in the development of the personal cloud. As decision-makers embrace these trends to keep up with overall consumerization habits, the private sector will become familiar with the cloud and adopt the services with more enthusiasm.
Gartner said the concept of cognizant computing is not new, though it will continue to evolve and provide consumers and companies with new opportunities in the coming years. By planning ahead and understanding the cloud, decision-makers and individuals outside the workplace can understand what they are looking to get out of the technology and select the offering that caters to these demands.
As the personal cloud matures, the overall cloud computing industry will grow and provide computing users with innovative technologies for a more holistic experience.