HOW CLOUD COMPUTING IS CHANGING THE MOBILE SPACE
Cloud computing and mobile are possibly the most forward thinking and revolutionary innovations to be enhanced in the 21st century, despite both of them not being readily available until the latter stages of last century. So how can these two industries make the most of each other's accessibility and performance?
Cloud & Mobile: Are They Compatible?
The year of the mobile space has come and gone every year since I can remember, always with more and more certainty that this year is the one. Now I don't think this is a lack of foresight. Rather, each year the evolution of technology moves tech that much further forward, with far more potential and tons more capital surrounding all aspects -- from investors to your operating revenue figures. Why wouldn't industry experts predict a more prosperous year than the previous?
In a similar fashion, the cloud is now as established as ever; more and more options are available to business and personal users alike. Now the likes of Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Apple all offer personal users free storage and therefore signs that the cloud is only going to get bigger and more essential in our day-to-day lives, whether at home, at work or -- of course -- on the move.
Both have had to come through their issues however, largely security and connectivity for the cloud and mobile respectively. So they seem so similar on the face of it, but how can they use each other's strengths to improve their own?
Finding the Mutually Beneficial Link Between Cloud & Mobile
This issue, before, lay deeply rooted in mobile's connectivity and loading times. In recent years, on 3G (third generation) networks, operators have increased the cost of incoming data. This is not, as you would immediately think, to increase revenue. No, it has been due to the 3G network being too weak to carry the bandwidth the increasing amount of users demanded. This is one reason why operators created WIFI 'hot spots' in many cities. With the introduction of 4G and potentially 100 Mbit/s for mobile users (up from 0.2Mbits/s on 3G) we can now begin to view mobile hardware as the all-inclusive internet device. This increase has been allowed as 4G and LTE (Long Term Evolution) created a completely new network. To put in a partly mobile analogy, this is not the iPhone 4 and then the 4S, this is the creation of the wheel and then the Space Shuttle.
However this loss in connectivity speed also has implications for the "producer". It has been reported that a one second delay, due to a slow Content Delivery Network (CDN), can result in a 7% loss in customer conversions and therefore a loss in revenue. It also could potentially be a loss in marketing expenditure if the user has come through a PPC or display marketing click. And so, imagine how much revenue the transformation from a 3G to a 4G network saves the producer?
With this being rectified (T-Mobile in the USA, EE in the UK - even Angola has had a full 4G live network for 3-4 years I might add), we can now see how mobile devices can access the cloud with suitable speed to make the most of its storage capabilities. This upgrade in bandwidth will not only solve the issue of storage, but in fact it will highlight that, for a decade, we've been increasing external hard drive storage exponentially, but never been able to mirror this growth to the same extent on our mobile devices. Mobile over the past decade has not grown significantly in terms of storing data. For example my iPad 1, from 2010, still has the same memory options as the most recent iPad release, and this pattern is seen across the board. I am aware Apple has, since I began writing this article, introduced a 128GB version, but I believe my point still stands that because the storage is still marginal, compared to it being hosted offsite, hosting it offsite also means it can be accessed by any one of your devices.
In the very near future there will be more downloads/uploads to the cloud. Additionally, mobile devices will come from many more geographic locations via a larger range and variety of hardware. This should be something that all mobile content providers and all cloud storage businesses need to consider.
Therefore, for this to become the norm, we will need to address the issues, such as downtime, that can be remedied with multiple dedicated servers to decrease latency and increase rapid mobile coverage. If this takes place, I believe these networks will take the next era of technology advancements by storm.
4G will take the cloud/mobile relationship to the next level, but with this increase in readily available data, which producer will utilize its potential the most? Only time will tell.
Source: tom's IT PRO