The rapid rise and use of mobile devices and cloud computing is unmistakable. It makes sense that these two technologies are interrelated. Nearly all, if not all, cellular devices leverage compute and storage from somewhere else. The cloud can offer a lot - massive amounts of CPU, robust storage models, and comparatively huge bandwidth.
With that said, I still agree that there is still a need for hardware at businesses. However, Gartner makes a huge prediction that by 2012 20 percent of businesses will own no IT assets. Budgets will be targeted at more strategic, core-competency business goals. IT staff will be reskilled or reduced. Gartner further predicts that by 2014, there will be a 90% mobile penetration rate and 6.5 billion mobile connections. Penetration will not be uniform, as continents like the lower levels in Africa versus Asia. Electronic transactions will be the rule, not the exception.
At my next talk, I’ve planned 45 minute walkthrough where I explain how Microsoft's Mobile/Cloud offering provides all the core building blocks needed by companies and individuals to harness cloud power on a mobile device. Indeed, creating mobile applications that leverage cloud power will be a critical piece of the future of software.
The bottom line is this, companies that write these mobile/cloud applications will need a very comprehensive set of tools and services for building the mobile client to connecting and securely using cloud services.
Mobile applications have redefined the timelines to deliver applications. Businesses must build applications in weeks, not months. The tooling and technologies must support a unified approach to building mobile/cloud applications, spanning the client all the way to the server, including various models for storage, compute. Developers need one robust development environment (Visual Studio), with related SDKs, frameworks, and languages, regardless whether they are writing cloud-based server code or mobile client code. They need to interoperate between cloud based and on-premise, client applications, not just one or the other.
When you speak of open standards, there are many things to speak of here. Are we talking about compliance? HIPPA? Sarbanes-Oxley? Is it security you are worried about – OATH, SWT, AD? Is it web standards – HTTP/HTTPS, ATOM, JSON, XML?
Microsoft offers a full suite of products to help you with both on-premise and cloud-based software. Microsoft also offers a variety of languages and products which allow you to build the whole application, from the cloud based server down to the client, all the way to on-premise.
Here is a sample of the technologies that I frequently demo:
We'll get LightSwitch added to your list soon ;-)