The personal cloud will replace the personal computer at the centre of users’ digital lives by 2014, according to Gartner, Inc.
The personal cloud will provide users with a new level of flexibility with the devices they use for daily activities, while leveraging the strengths of each device, ultimately enabling new levels of user satisfaction and productivity, Gartner said. However, it will require enterprises to fundamentally rethink how they deliver applications and services to users.
"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," said Steve Kleynhans, research vice-president at Gartner.
"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."
The past two years have been a whirlwind in the client computing space, Gartner said, leaving many enterprises asking what comes next and what the environment will look like in five years.
"Many call this era the post-PC era, but it isn’t really about being ‘after’ the PC, but rather about a new style of personal computing that frees individuals to use computing in fundamentally new ways to improve multiple aspects of their work and personal lives," Kleynhans said.
Several driving forces are combining to put the personal cloud ahead of personal computers, among them apps, mobility, the self-service cloud, virtualisation and the consumerisation of IT.