We wrote at various times in 2010 about both trends and predictions. As we look toward 2011, there are two trends that are already rolling along pretty well that we predict will gain even greater momentum in the coming months.
Trend #1: The number of Internet-connected devices is increasing – laptops, netbooks, smart phones, pads, etc. – and business people need their familiar tools available on all of them.
Trend #2: Business people also want access to their data whenever they need it, wherever they are, whatever device they are using.
People use multiple digital devices in the office, at home and on the road because (a) no single, general purpose device covers all the bases (so much for “the convergence”) and (b) people use different devices in different “settings and contexts.” Starting in late 2008, laptops emerged as the best selling computing device, overtaking desktops for the first time. However, even more smart phones are sold, and although less powerful than CRE’s Mac Pro rentals, they provide email, Web surfing, GPS, TV/movies, music and more – oh, and phone calls, of course!
In addition to laptops/netbooks and smart phones, there are lots of new wireless tablets (many running Google’s Android OS) from a slew of firms chasing Apple’s iPad. There are Wi-Fi and 3G/4G multimedia tablets from Viewsonic, Samsung and others, all trying to emulate the broad appeal (and capabilities) of CRE’s iPad rentals.
Single database, multiple tools
Whether you’re working on a smart phone, a wireless tablet, a laptop or one of CRE’s iMac rentals, you want familiar software tools on them – or at least available through them, via Web applications. And you want your files in the cloud, so you can access them from wherever you are, with whatever device you’re using. This is the new model now, and it’s growing fast.
The kind of film and TV professionals that use CRE’s AJA Io HD rentals in collaborative digital workflows know all about using centralized data servers. But the concept is still new to many small business owners, many of whom are amassing huge amounts of data for R&D, sales, marketing, finance and other purposes. It is far too much to copy back and forth between PCs, which is why even one- and two-person offices are moving data to the cloud. From that one secure location, they can access it from the office with a PC, from home with a laptop or from the road with a phone or Wi-Fi pad.