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Redefining Cloud Computing: Cloud Calling and Smartphones

Simplicity for end-user use requires complex infrastructure and software that no one really sees (or cares about)

With more smartphones being utilized everywhere, should we be redefining cloud computing? If not redefining it, at least recalibrating it to encompass and fit new edge technology that is becoming the device of choice.

Many organizations that are looking at implementing cloud computing should also be looking at BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) concepts that focus on smartphones and tablets.

Why? More people are using smartphones and tablets than PCs today. They don't want to be burdened with "computing," that sounds too technical. All they want to do is make a call and get things done.

Distillation of Applications to Apps
Middleware, firewalls, hosted services, infrastructure, and all the other complex facets of data-centric applications need to be re-engineered and streamlined to fit into the new choice in edge technology. No it's not the next laptop or PC; it's the smartphone and tablet.

People don't care about all the technical interfaces, the connectivity concepts, or any of the other techie jargon that make applications work. All they want to do is pull out their smartphone and complete a transaction. No wait, that is too techie. All they want to do is make a cloud call.

What is a cloud call? A cloud call can be anything. It can be:

  • Pulling up a video
  • Paying for an item (digital wallet)
  • Doing a Google search
  • Asking for directions
  • Making reservations
  • Playing a game
  • Just making a phone call

Some social media "tools" might be still searching for relevance and a better way to monetization, but what they have done is bring in a very casual type of user who isn't enamored by glitzy tech issues or complex interfaces.

The casual user just wants to communicate with others and facilitate transactions to make life simpler. They don't want to earn a degree in computer science in order to use their phone.

Convergence of Edge Technology
When you go out of the house, do you always take your laptop? Do you always take a tablet? No, the only device that you take out is your smartphone.

If the smartphone is going to be viewed as the new "universal" edge technology, then all applications have to be designed with that in mind. This means adjusting to certain issues and weaknesses, like power consumption and screen size.

There are already big shifts in reworking real estate and intelligent buildings so that smartphones can be applied as edge technology where no interfacing end-user technology exists.

A great example is a sports stadium. Going to the game, no one is lugging a laptop or toting a tablet, but they are bringing in their smartphone. If the smartphone can be used as the "edge technology" for interactivity with the stadium's network," look at all the apps that can be developed for a richer fan experience.

This is happening already and you have the ability to order concessions, order team wear and other event memorabilia from your seat.

This is breathing new life into the stadium as well as the teams' revenues without having to build out a total network infrastructure to a 70,000 seat stadium. Could you imagine the cost of putting in an electronic terminal device at every seat and hooking it back up to a group of servers?

Next-generation real estate and commercial buildings have to take all this into consideration as people adopt new "edge technology" that is not tied to or limited to the company that they work at.

"Let your fingers do the walking" has been replaced with "Let your fingers do the shopping."

•   •   •

Copyright 2013 - James Carlini

More Stories By James Carlini

James Carlini, MBA, a certified Infrastructure Consultant, keynote speaker and former award-winning Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University, has advised on mission-critical networks. Clients include the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, GLOBEX, and City of Chicago’s 911 Center. An expert witness in civil and federal courts on network infrastructure, he has worked with AT&T, Sprint and others.

Follow daily Carlini-isms at

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