Personal cloud will oust personal computers by 2014, predicts Gartner

By Andrew Charlesworth
13 Mar 2012 View Comments
Signpost on the south bank in London against a cloudy sky

By 2014 the focus of internet access will have fully shifted from the personal computer as an access device to "personal cloud" services, analyst firm Gartner has predicted in a report announced yesterday.

The emergence of the personal cloud is the culmination of five megatrends and has profound implications for CIOs providing computing services for employees as well as consumers, says Gartner's report, The New PC Era: The Personal Cloud.

Further reading

"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, research vice president at Gartner.

"Emerging cloud services will become the glue that connects the web of devices users choose to access during the different aspects of their daily life."

The personal cloud will enable users to access online services with their device of choice, "leveraging the strengths of each device, ultimately enabling new levels of user satisfaction and productivity", says the report.

The report identifies five mega-trends that have combined to bring about this change to the computing landscape:

  • Consumerisation, providing the choice of access device
  • Virtualisation, which frees applications from the peculiarities of individual devices
  • The replacement of applications with apps
  • Self-service cloud computing
  • Mobile access, which engenders an 'anytime, anywhere' mentality

"In this new world, the specifics of devices will become less important for the organisation to worry about," says Kleynhans.

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