The clear direction of computing architecture over the past few decades has been in the direction of networked computing using public network facilities, with obvious ramifications for service providers in terms of broadband access and transport revenues.
With no exceptions, the next big development–cloud based computing–should push users even more firmly in the direction of computing using public networks. In fact, argues Gartner, by 2014, the personal cloud will replace the personal computer at the center of users’ digital lives.
The other big trend is the increasing number of devices used by any single consumer to access and use computing resources.
“Major trends in client computing have shifted the market away from a focus on personal computers to a broader device perspective that includes smartphones, tablets and other consumer devices,” says Steve Kleynhans, Gartner VP. “Emerging cloud services will become the glue that connects the web of devices that users choose to access during the different aspects of their daily life.”
To be sure, there also are ramifications for enterprise users as well as consumers. And that explains the huge interest in cloud computing, on the part of service and application providers.
Still, most of the revenue upside appears likely to accrue to hardware and software suppliers, according to a Morgan Stanley analysis. In the telecom space, the analysts expect key winners to include Rackspace, Equinix and competitive local exchange carriers and metro bandwidth suppliers.
Also, pubic cloud computing is likely to reduce traditional telco enterprise service revenues. Morgan Stanley further suggests that among IT decision makers, the large telcos remain behind Amazon and others in terms of “cloud mindshare.”