5 Reasons Online Profiles Beat Hardware In Relevancy: Be Prepared and Thrive

Online storage (or cloud computing) and wireless broadband are already affecting how businesses operate.

However, in 2012 these two pillars of technology will continue to affect how businesses operate in even great ways.

Those businesses who are prepared and can leverage the evolution of technology will thrive. Those who cannot will be trounced by their competition – some faster than others.

Online backup provider Mozy had some thoughts on storage in 2012 and one interesting point is that the DEVICE is not really relevant. What’s relevant are online user profiles.

I’ve been trying out a Dell Latitude for a few years. It’s a desktop replacement, large screen and DVD drive. Last night I started trying out an Acer TravelMate (very light, long battery life). The transfer of my data took only minutes and the only software I had to install was Microsoft Office. On my desktop I do have Adobe Premier and QuickBooks but no need to transfer those – at this time.

The lesson learned is that if your business is able to manage employee data and profiles online, when cell phones are lost, notebooks are upgraded and PC’s are swapped you can do these things much smoother and faster.

Mozy’s Gytis Barzdukas, Director of Product Management writes:

Mankind’s ability to create, process, store, and recall information is light years ahead of the days of cave paintings and engravings on stone tablets. Vast amounts of information can be stored on drives smaller than your thumb, and data centers are cropping up at an increasingly high rate.

What does the future of data storage hold? Will our data continue to leap from our desktop to the cloud? One thing is for sure: people want their information stored securely and accessible whenever they want it and wherever they are.

Here are the trends Mozy expects to materialize in the next 12 months.

Data Everywhere – Up until now, cloud data services have made people choose between completeness (all of your data online – a.k.a. online backup) and currency (the most up-to-date version of selected files online – a.k.a. cloud storage or “sync.”). In 2012 we should see these converging into single offerings where people will be able to access their information everywhere from any device.

Backup services have traditionally been the ones to offer completeness. All of your data is backed up to the cloud so any file that you could potentially lose is available for restore. Backups are generally scheduled to run while computers are inactive – at the end of the day, for example. Sync services have offered currency. The most up-to-date versions of your documents are pushed to all of your devices each time they are changed. Sync services require you to specify which documents are synchronized across devices and only those files that you’ve individually earmarked for access are made available.

In 2012, hybrid services will emerge that will allow users to access all of their files and also to access the most up-to-date versions.

Businesses internationally open up to storing data in the public cloud – ‘Cloud’ became a buzzword several years ago, and since then some companies have embraced the cloud and some companies have feared the cloud. The year 2011 was when the skeptics started to turn as many saw the benefits that others were gaining. Many others realized that resistance was futile when people throughout the organization were bringing in cloud services under the radar.

In 2012 will see more organizations turn to the public cloud and embrace more public cloud services in their official IT strategies. It will be the year of mass adoption and mass acceptance as cloud enters the mainstream.

Bandwidth availability will dictate mobile cloud usage behaviors – People today have more opportunities to access more information on the go than ever before.  However, limited bandwidth and capped data plans means that, for many, anytime-streaming services simply aren’t practical.

In 2012, users are going to want to choose how they move data between devices and when. They will want to be able to move large volumes of data when they have broadband connectivity and be able to access individual files when they are on mobile cellular networks. Cloud providers will need to offer solutions that put this choice – and their documents – in the hands of their users.

Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery – A new generation of recovery and restore services will start to emerge in 2012. Traditionally, third-party recovery services have been split into two genres: disaster recovery services offering access to duplicate systems, and backup services offering access to duplicate data.

Over the coming years, we’ll see these two converge, with business continuity and disaster recovery solutions allowing people to boot up a duplicate virtual image of their computers directly from the cloud.

One example of how this would work is through the combination of VMware and Mozy technologies. VMware is able to provision an image of a computer, exactly as it would appear if it were running on your own hardware. Mozy is able to display a mirror copy of your file tree with all your documents available online. Putting the two together gives you the ability to turn any computer into your computer.

Separate devices will be replaced by online profiles ‑ The classification of ‘work devices’ and ‘personal devices’ is becoming redundant as devices are increasingly becoming task agnostic.  Increasing acceptance of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies, coupled with business cloud services, are bringing more ‘personal’ devices into the workplace. Conversely, consumer cloud services are making it easier for people to use their work devices to carry out personal activities.

With information living in the cloud, and devices increasingly used as a portal to access services rather than processors to carry out services, people will start to look for aggregators of multiple services so that they can “sign in” to their personal profile where their files, folders and apps can be accessed – or “sign in” to their business profile where their corporate files, folder and apps are.

 

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Ramon Ray, Editor & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com . Editor and Founder, Smart Hustle Magazine Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook

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