If you work in the world of tech, you probably heard that Microsoft announced yesterday a preview of its next version of Office, its nearly ubiquitous productivity suite. One of the things that struck me most about this latest incarnation was its heavy dependence on the Cloud, particularly for storing files. Specifically, the default storage location for files is either on SkyDrive or SharePoint (depending on the version of the suite that you’re using). The idea being that you’ll be able to access and/or edit your documents regardless of where you are, regardless of what device you may be using to access those files, regardless of who owns the device (you, your employer, your friend, family member, etc.) It became obvious to me that the Cloud (assuming you buy into the Microsoft view on productivity) will be a linchpin to the way we work in the future.
This got me thinking about the impact of the Cloud on enterprise mobility.
The Cloud and Enterprise Mobility – and their convergence – is certainly nothing new. We’ve talked at great length here in the past about the opportunities and potential pitfalls of “the mobile Cloud.” Heck, we’ve talked at great length also about the power of managing an enterprise mobility deployment in the Cloud, particularly in the context of Mobility as a Service. The thing is though, that as big as we all knew “The Cloud” was going to be, I must admit that I didn’t fully appreciate back then just how big the Mobile Cloud was going to be.
The Mobile Cloud now means so many things. I seem to recall seeing recently a definition from Yankee Group that described the mobile cloud as a federated means of accessing data across a carrier network (unfortunately, I can’t find the link). I’m not sure I fully agree with that definition because I don’t feel as if it takes into account WiFi-only tablets (as an example) that will be accessing the same kinds of data and resources that are accessible via a WWAN.
But here’s where it gets special. The Cloud is going to be everything and everywhere. Sure, you’ll access data that you may have created. You’ll be able to manage mobile technologies via the Cloud (even from your mobile device) and you’ll be able to access or even create web services to enhance what you’re already doing…and heck….you’ll even be able to build mobile apps (and then deploy them) via the Cloud. That’s a bit of a mind bender when you take a step back.
What does this all mean? Well to me, it sounds like the Cloud will become a driving force for the enablement of mobility in the workplace, from content/information creation and consumption to application development, deployment and management. It’s no longer just about the Internet of things, but the Mobility of things.
That’s a Keanu Reeves moment if you ask me.