The big news in tech this week was that Apple officially unveiled its much-anticipated iCloud. The iCloud, as you probably already know, is the handle for what’s essentially a way for folks to store their digital content within Apple’s data center. It also has to with synching content on various Apple devices to make content sharing easier for the end user.
Given its market power, everything that Apple does these days draws a great deal of interest and has pundits and industry players analyzing what the company’s latest move means for broadband network operators and the high tech community at large.
A piece on the Washington Post website says Apple’s iCloud will diminish the need for a computer. I’m not sure about that. It may slow consumer buying of storage peripherals at some point, but then the storage will simply move to the cloud.
Also, certainly, iCloud is yet another indication that cloud computing is both the present and the future of communications. Many companies already have seen great success with cloud services, which help business customers and consumers pay for storage, other infrastructure, and applications, on a pay-as-you-go basis.
As I discuss in the upcoming/July issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY, the rise of the cloud is clear. Gartner forecasts that by the end of this year cloud-based services will account for almost a quarter of the overall hosting market, excluding co-location and mass-market hosting. Meanwhile, Microsoft reveals that about 39 percent of small and medium-sized organizations expect to adopt cloud services – such as collaboration, data storage and backup or business class e-mail – within the next three years, compared to the 29 percent that are paying for such services today.
But what all this cloud business really comes down to in the end is that our desire to consume digital content only looks to continue – in a big way. Enabling both consumers and businesses to put content into the cloud means they now have access to a great array of content and the storage that enables them to buy and hold even more of it.
And all of that only further elevates the importance of broadband networks, which users now need not only to download and share content, but to access more of that content going forward.