After a Masters in Computer Science, I decided that I preferred writing about IT rather than programming. My 20-year writing career has taken me to Hong Kong and London where I've edited and written for IT, business and electronics publications. In 2002 I co-founded Futurity Media with Stewart Baines where I continue to write about a range of topics such as unified communications, cloud computing and enterprise applications.
ABI Research forecast that there will be almost one billion users of cloud-based mobile applications by 2014, representing nearly 19% of the total user base, compared with 42.8 million (1.1%) in 2008. It noted that business productivity applications will soon dominate, particularly through collaborative document sharing, scheduling, and sales force management applications.
According to the research company, by 2014 cloud computing will be the leading mobile application development and deployment strategy, displacing native and downloadable applications.
Cloud-based enterprise mobility has a number of attractive qualities. It reduces the significance of device operating systems, providing easier multi-vendor support and enabling access to applications from mass-market handsets as well as smartphones; it reduces the amount of data stored on the device, reducing some security risk if a handset is lost; information is constantly backed-up and synchronised, so employees have a stable source of up-to-date information; and shifting processing to the cloud reduces the burden on the limited handset computing power.
However, it has also been noted that while cloud-based enterprise mobility has its benefits, security and management concerns still exist, meaning that enterprise mobility management will remain a crucial factor.
ABI believes that platform-as-a-service players including Google, Amazon AWS and salesforce.com will begin to market their mobile capabilities "aggressively" starting in 2010.