By Shane Robison, Chief Technology Officer, HP
reprinted with permission from the HP Small Business Center
Technology is in the early stages of a big shift, one that will transform how companies and individuals access information, share content and communicate. This next wave will be driven by a new model of computing: people and businesses will use their Web browsers to access a wide range of “cloud services”–computing services available on demand, over the Internet.
Imagine services that are intelligent enough to anticipate your needs, based on a real-time understanding of your location, time of day and preferences. In this next phase of computing, the search for information will be done for you, not by you. You will have a seamless, consistent experience across all the devices you own, and all the on-demand services you care about.
What’s needed: New core building blocks
Think about the cloud as a platform for creating new services and experiences. It requires a new set of core building blocks – smarter devices and more intelligent networks with software as the critical element that powers these new services and shapes the quality of the user experience.
At HP, we call this “everything as a service.” Individuals and businesses will have full control to customize their computing environments and shape their experiences.
The true power of the cloud happens when there is continuous interaction between your device — your smart phone, notebook computer, TV — and the network, and they jointly act on your behalf.
Here’s a simple example: Say it’s 2 p.m., and your calendar shows you’re booked on a flight to Toronto at 6 p.m. Your device should anticipate what information you’ll need for this trip and proactively gather it for you — a weather forecast for the Toronto area, a status update on your flight, a recommended route to the airport based on up-to-the-minute traffic conditions, and so on. In this scenario, the big step forward is the pervasive, proactive and highly personalized nature of cloud services.
Five trends to watch
As we move to a lifestyle where everything will be delivered as a service, there are five trends that are worth paying close attention to:
1) The digital world will converge with the physical world. Cloud services will be increasingly aware of the context you’re in, right down to details such as the time, the weather, where you’re headed, and which friends or business colleagues are nearby.
2) The era of device-centric computing is over. What you really want is the ability to use any number of devices and have them all provide easy access to the services and content you care about. Devices will continue to play an important role, but in the next phase they become interchangeable — and the cloud services become the focal point.
3) Publishing will be democratized. A global Internet population of 1.2 billion people now has the tools to produce everything from books and magazines to music and videos. You will soon have the ability to print on demand any book ever published.
4) Crowd-sourcing is going mainstream and will change the rules of the game forever. Fortune 50 companies will access top talent across the globe via the Internet, saving millions of dollars in professional services, from fields like accounting, advertising, law and engineering. One example of this shift to crowd sourcing is HP’s Logoworks service , which is transforming the graphics design industry.
5) Enterprises will use radically different tools to make key business decisions. A merger is taking place between the structured data that fuels business intelligence and the unstructured data of the Web. At the same time, market-based systems that enable companies to accurately predict the future
As “everything as a service” evolves, the technology industry has an opportunity to reshape the computing industry forever and, more importantly, create more dynamic services that enrich our everyday lives and improve how we do business. To realize this potential, the technology industry must innovate by building a higher level of intelligence into the next generation of devices, networks and software.