Cloud computing should be seen as a mobile business enabler rather than primarily a cost control strategy says Charlotte Yarkoni, general manager of EMC MOZY (https://mozy.com/about) and senior VP of cloud services for EMC. Speaking on SiliconAngle TV from VMworld 2010 in San Francisco Monday, she said that the last two years have seen a gradual shift in strategy in the use of cloud services.
“While pure cloud plays still exist,” she said, “the emphasis now is on hybrid strategies between in-house and cloud services.” And this is intimately linked to the shift in mobile computing to full mobility.
For instance, a company may want to keep its key applications in-house but simultaneously need to provide access to employees or customers operating remotely, possibly worldwide, using fully mobile devices as well as or instead of laptop computers.
The paradigm shifts in the mobile computing arena, from voice to voice/data, then past that to true mobility with people using applications across multiple devices, are creating new challenges both in the consumer and business service environments.
Cloud computing provides a new tool set that allows users to do things that they never could do before. A company that finds it needs a server farm to support operations in a remote location such as India or China can create one from Cloud services in a half hour today working from a mobile device. A decade ago that same company would have needed months, if it was possible at all.
“Success today depends on the user experience,” she says. Users today carry and work on multiple devices from laptops to smartphones. On the one hand, this gives developers an opportunity to work above the device level and not be limited by the capabilities of a particular piece of hardware. On the other, the challenge is to provide a consistent user experience across multiple devices.
To accomplish this, whether the goal is to support highly mobile employees or to reach equally mobile customers worldwide, companies need to leverage cloud services as a basic part of their business plans. But equally the cloud service providers need to understand the needs of those mobile end-users and optimize the services for them.
“If the service doesn’t provide value to the end-user,” she says, “it will not be successful.”