How Mobile and Cloud Computing Drive Each Other

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Where IT Will Be in Five Years

A recent survey suggests IT staff will need to combine mobile and cloud computing with business knowledge to create unique, compelling value for their organizations.

The killer application for cloud computing will be mobile computing; and vice versa the killer application for mobile computing is going to be the cloud.

There's a tendency to talk about mobile and cloud computing as two distinct trends. In reality, the adoption of one is driving the other. If you look at mobile computing, all the data being used is almost invariably stored in a cloud. As these devices become more prevalent throughout the enterprise, they will be accessing federated clouds of resources running on both public and private infrastructure. The more mobile devices there are, the greater the demand for cloud services. Of course, without cloud computing services, mobile computing devices couldn't do much, so in reality mobile and cloud computing are really two ends of the same continuum.

A new survey conducted by the developerWorks group of IBM finds that most IT professionals are firmly convinced of the dominance of mobile computing, but only half are as solidly convinced about the future of cloud computing. Drew Clark, director of strategy for the IBM Venture Capital Group, says the combination of mobile and cloud computing will clearly change the way IT resources are deployed and managed throughout the enterprise.


But the most interesting thing about all this, says Clark, is how it changes the way IT people see themselves five years from now. As IT continues to mature into a set of services rather than something IT professionals build, IT people are increasingly appreciating the value of domain knowledge in specific vertical industries.


That means that as IT evolves, says Clark, the value that IT people will bring to the business equation in the future is not necessarily how the technology works, but rather how best to apply it.