The combination of mobile and cloud technologies can provide both organizations and individuals opportunities to organize their data in more efficient and cost effective ways while also making the data portable. The cloud provides the ultimate convenience in rapid deployment and charges are incurred based on storage and bandwidth usage. Mobile technologies deliver the applications anywhere an end users might need them in a rapid manner.
A new survey from Cisco's consulting group has some surprising conclusions. They looked at 1000 business users this past spring to understand the interaction between their mobile devices and how they interacted with various cloud-based services. According to this report, mobility and the cloud coupled together provide for maximum flexibility, interoperability, and opportunity for business to capitalize.
Cisco highlights their research with the following five conclusions:
1. Mobile users will have dual personalities by next year. While the majority of business users have single mobile phones, the majority of respondents will be using them for both business and personal applications by next year. Very few of us carry multiple cell phones so in a sense we are mixing business and personal use already, if not just for the voice calls alone. Interestingly, less than half of the respondents currently carry smartphones, and almost 20 percent of respondents were unaware of their smartphone operating system. The top ranked activity on their phones was texting - voice was fifth, behind email and Web browsing and taking photos.
2. Business users will demand a unified cloud experience to access both kinds of content from their devices. Cisco predicts that business smartphone growth will drive more mobile cloud app adoption.
3. Cloud access is shifting from smartphone browsers and apps more towards thin clients and VDI solutions. This is perhaps the biggest surprise of this research. The appeal of thin clients are clear - better security and no need to frequently update your smartphone apps. While phones may be less secure but a combination of MDM and stronger security policies can remedy this situation for most organizations.
4. Mobile will finally become a true desktop extension. Having a better mobile browsing experience can help, and it seems that HTML5 can be a big factor here. "HTML5 appears to be how most enterprises will address the diversity of mobile devices that might be coming into the enterprise," says Al Hilwa, a program director with IDC, after seeing the spate of announcements from VMworld and Dreamforce last week. "On average, all smartphone users reported spending a stunning 35 percent of their time browsing the web on their devices through a Wi-Fi connection rather than a cellular network," according to the survey results.
5. Business video conference calls on their mobiles will finally happen at the end of 2012. According to the survey, 70% of the respondents expect to be doing this then, up from 10% who are doing it today. This is a big change in the way we normally conduct our business affairs. Could it be that a Cisco product like Telepresence will one day lead the way on our laptops and thin clients?