Cloud-based computing, the Mobile Enterprise and M2M communications are arguably the three most powerful trends in the telecommunications and IT industries.
Cloud computing is a nice-sounding term used to describe ICT services that are, in most cases, employed over an Internet connection. The technology was developed in order to make more efficient use of computing resources and it also facilitates the creation of new applications because components can be shared and accessed via open interfaces. The term comes from the way that the Internet is represented.
The concept of the Mobile Enterprise is predicated on the ability to mobilise business applications and processes such as ERP and CRM. It’s an enterprise-wide development that comes at a time when the need to: increase productivity and operational efficiency; reduce costs; improve customer relationships; and boost margins has hit a high. This need coincides with an ICT sweet spot, e.g. wireless data services are high-speed, affordable and ubiquitous.
Cloud computing and mobile applications both appeared at the top of Gartner’s list of top technology trends to watch in 2011. A cloud-based architecture changes the way mobile apps are developed, acquired and used. The amount of code needed for each of the smartphone mobile operating systems is reduced, so it is easier and quicker to develop. And usage is facilitated because you can sync from mobile devices such as smartphone to the cloud without intermediate servers or a VPN.
In a nutshell, you have a seamless, unified environment and a lot of two-way synergy.
The Mobile Enterprise allows mobile employees to access the information they need when communicating with customers: in addition they can update the relevant database with information and transaction data. This means that management decisions can be based on real-time information. When M2M applications are cloud-centric they become part of the ICT environment, so the databases are automatically updated with real-time information coming from devices, thereby (a) complementing the manual process employed by mobile employees and (b) leveraging both investments.
Conclusion: this scenario represents a blend of complementary technologies working together in an environment that is even more unified and that delivers three-way synergy.