I recall having many a huff and tut at the issues created with iTunes when you get a new laptop or a new iPhone/iPod and having to figure out if and how you transfer all of your music and movie files from one device to a new one.
Well iCloud MAY have solved this problem and let’s be honest, it was only a matter of time before a company attempted to create an entire data and software application that could be accessible anywhere in the world. Imagine reading a book on your iPad at home and then scooting off to work and bringing up the same book at the same page on your iPhone automatically. This is the attraction of the iCloud idea in its simplest form.
The problem is that if this technology is to take off, and I believe it will, seeing as it has come from the lickable products company, people will have to alter the way they perceive and do things. If like me, you get used to having certain software and files on your home computer and others at work and others on your phone, you will have to change your mind set and acknowledge that everything is available everywhere…but only if you have the devices that can support the system. And to that end, companies will also have to accept this. I recall reading an article a few months back about how Gen Y, who are quickly integrating and stamping their impression on the workplace are used to having all technology available to them all the time and how a company, rather than ban the use of social sites and devices at work decided to provide technology allowances so that individuals could have a budget to purchase the laptop, phone etc. that they wanted and felt comfortable with. The principal idea being that they would be more engaged at work, more constructive and efficient due to having access to all the gismos and gadgets that would allow them to function…..and in the long run create employee loyalty and engagement by creating an attractive place to work….oh and allow people to take work home with them 😉
I think Apple have recognised that the future is not in hardware, but software and the interactions people utilise. How many phones now support the android system? Google has created its own phones before, albeit via a third party, but the real money in the future will come from the apps and advertising that are generated for the hardware. Apple’s plan is also cunning; if they create a cloud space that allows you to access everything you need, then of course you will need a device to access it on (I wonder what iPad and iPhone sales would do off the back of this), but do you think they will allow a rival manufacturers product to access the iCloud? Who knows, we have all seen what Apple has attempted to do with the online publishing industry making it mandatory to subscribe via the iStore app and thus taking a cut of the revenue.
From a competitors or software provider’s stance, what it means for them is that they will have to rethink and re-engineer their technology to accommodate the iCloud. Who would use an application that was only available on one device if the cloud philosophy takes off? So the smart companies will have to change their strategy and rethink how they integrate their software and services into this space.
I first read about “the cloud” a few years back, and I am by no means a tech geek, but the idea did stick with me and over the years I have seen various software companies try to introduce their version or their offering such as Google docs or even Norton’s backup facility (more and more photos are stored on Facebook now than anywhere else). Like many of the best innovations and ideas, they are many years in the making and it takes a truly innovative product to make it stick, and who better to bring the cloud to the forefront that Apple.