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“The hype surrounding the cloud is coming to an end. It’s time to leverage it for real.”
October 24, 2011
How will companies operate in future? Market analyst Thomas Lünendonk explains in this interview.
Mr Lünendonk, what impact will the cloud and mobility have on businesses and processes in the next 20 years?
Mobility is breaking down traditional enterprise boundaries. The restrictions of time, space and, in some cases, technology that applied in the past are no longer an issue in today’s mobile workplace. Businesses want flexible, anytime access to IT and telecommunications infrastructures. And cloud computing is the ideal enabler.
This development is still in its teething stages. The initial euphoria and hype have abated and the critical voices have died down. It’s now time to begin working with the cloud for real. And there is no reason why this dynamic, demand-driven ICT delivery model cannot take off and be a success. In twenty years at the latest, the majority of the world’s business processes will be supported by cloud structures. And consumer clouds will expedite this trend.
Augmented reality, voice-recognition software, new person-to-machine interfaces – how will IT solutions alter the world of work?
Take telepresence, for example, a solution that helps employees significantly improve the way they manage their work and time, with benefits for the business. In the future, people will work in communities where they can go to work, not on the same tasks but simply to be in the company of others – a kind of office to go. And thanks to Skype and high-end solutions that simulate real presence, video conferencing today is no longer as complex as it was in the past, Thanks to smart voice and gesture control, even people who are generally distanced from IT will be able to navigate easily through cyber space without even realizing they are in the digital world. The bandwidths of tomorrow, future storage capacity and possibilities offered by the cloud and the mobility trend will deliver all this and more.
Solutions like those that Cisco and T-Systems are already providing in hotels and technology allowing diners in a restaurant to order their meal and work from tabletop tablet PCs will become commonplace. Virtual office communities will pop up everywhere without people having to carry their own devices with them: they will simply be able log onto the cloud from anywhere, identifying themselves through fingerprint recognition. In essence, it’s all about creating satisfactory working environments whenever and wherever people need to work. People will leverage online-telepresence and on-demand telepresence, depending on whether they want to have others around them constantly or just sometimes.
What exactly to you mean with your “technology eats technology” theory? Do the protection and security of data, identity and rights still play a role?
The sheer number of new technologies and possibilities calls for reliable management, good decision-making and clearly defined terms. IT providers must conform to rules and standards when handling user data. But users too need to be vigilant and make careful decisions about how and where their data may be registered, identified and used. To do this, we need a set of rules and we will compile using input from three different sources: the legislator, the user and the IT service provider. This is a top priority. Some companies are still wondering how to deal with email, SMS or social media. But they will soon find out that these technologies are set to be superseded by the fast-moving app economy in less than ten years. That’s what I mean by technology eats technology.