Monday, October 3, 2011

Top 5 Predictions for the Future World of Mobile Cloud for Businesses

Mobility and cloud computing are colliding. So, what does this mean for the future of mobile devices? How soon will video-conference calls on our mobile devices become commonplace? How can service providers (SPs) enhance their competitive position by delivering cloud and managed services?

While research has been conducted on mobile and cloud computing as separate trends, to date very little data has existed on the impact of mobility and cloud together. To understand this dynamic market better, Cisco IBSG surveyed more than 1,000 business users to understand their current and future needs with regard to the mobile cloud.

The top findings may surprise you:

1) By the end of 2012, business users will routinely attend video-conference calls on their mobile phones while making use of other video endpoints such as desktop webcams and telepresence stations. Today, only 20 percent of users have this capability.

2) Business users also want to switch back and forth between device types in real time. For example, if I’m on a call on my mobile device and I walk into the office, the call would seamlessly switch to my office phone.

3) Additionally, using virtual desktop integration (VDI), many users are seeking to replicate the desktop experience on their mobile devices, enabling these devices to become true extensions of both work and personal desktops. This will provide more flexibility and improved productivity while on the go.

4) By 2012, professional and personal boundaries will blur on mobile devices. Business users want a unified mobile cloud experience to access both professional and personal content from one device to increase productivity and improve work-life balance.

5) We will see a shift from smartphones to thin-client, cloud-based mobile devices. Applications and data will also be stored in the cloud, rather than on the desktop. Our survey respondents felt a thin-client approach would enhance security by reducing the risk of losing content and applications in case their devices were lost or stolen.

Developing a portfolio of mobile cloud services now—including mobile extensions of enterprise cloud applications such as video conferencing and collaboration—will be the key to success for SPs.

SPs should begin by using mobility as a lead value proposition for cloud strategy versus non-SP competitors. Next, it is important to develop an integrated device strategy by utilizing capabilities such as speech recognition and messaging history that lend themselves to the features and functionality of mobile devices. The strategy should include the creation of cloud services that address both business and personal use (e.g., gaming and social networking). Finally, SPs should deliver the promise of fixed mobile convergence for business users with seamless voice and data experiences that span fixed and mobile networks.

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