It’s certainly a bold prediction by Alex Wawro of PC World, but one that’s certainly possible.
By 2020, not only will it be possible for you to build an IT network without any need for on-site hardware, but it’s probably going to be the most popular way of managing your data.
The likely office setup of the future will be a simple monitor linked to an off-premises, high speed cloud computer backed by a top of the line data centre.
Experts are predicting that in under a decade it will be possible for almost any company, and even individuals for that matter, to access the high-powered infrastructure of cloud computer companies, removing forever the need to use their own hardware.
The main reason that is preventing this scenario from already happening today is security. Cloud companies have yet to come up with a definitive security architecture that can provide thorough data protection. Because of this, most business owners today are afraid to shift their data to Web-based platforms for fear that this could be stolen or accessed by unauthorized users.
Yet we are already seeing some cloud enterprises making inroads in data protection by incorporating encryption tools in their set-ups, such as Google’s Gmail file sharing, which sends data encrypted with SSL. Inevitably, this technology is going to increase in sophistication until such time that businesses will be able to develop highly reliable security frameworks.
Another stumbling block to the future of cloud technology is Internet bandwidth. The downside of cloud computing is you need to be connected to the Web. Currently, internet access is not that dependable, which can pose a serious problem to businesses that are looking into shifting into Web-based software management systems.
But the future looks rosy, with internet architecture being developed at a lightning pace, it’s only a matter of time until this conundrum is solved. One example is the emergence today of 4G Internet networks, which boast of having some of the fastest and most reliable Internet connections around.
There’s a lot of optimism surrounding the possibilities and potential for cloud computing. The main benefit is surely going to be one of businesses substantially lowering their costs. It may even get to a point where cloud computing offers creative small businesses and even individuals with limited resources the chance to go head to head with much larger enterprises.
This can only be a good thing, as it will level the playing field, allowing business start-ups to be less reluctant about competing, as they would face significantly less cash exposure.
Perhaps more than anything else, cloud computing is set to change the world as we know it for the better.