Report: Personal cloud may sound death knell for PC by 2014

May 18, 2012

After years as top dog in the digital age, the PC is on the verge of being eclipsed by the mobility and convenience of the personal cloud. According to a report by Gartner Research, the rapid growth of the personal cloud is poised to continue, bolstered by fierce competition, and will eventually pass the PC as the "hub of consumers' digital lives."

Although the cloud still necessitates the use of a device - for now - Gartner hypothesizes that instead of buying a PC for the operating system, the focus will be put on the "nature and function" of the various services the cloud makes available to that device. This is dependent upon both the autonomy of the platform and the synchronization of data across multiple devices - in personal and business environments.

Data classification
The migration does not come unimpeded as there is an ever-increasing trove of data out there in need of protection. Cloud security is a top priority with the switchover and some experts think the key to data security in the cloud is to change the way it is classified and protected.

Since data would have the opportunity to move back and forth between private clouds in business settings and a most likely public cloud on employees' personal devices, there may be a discrepancy in the level of data protection.

The VP of security from an Asia-Pacific technology company told ZD Net Asia that the use of traditional "yes" or "no" security denominations are not enough anymore. Instead, he suggests content-aware identity security in the cloud and access management tools be used to control information. Otherwise, the public cloud would necessitate enterprise-level protection.

Working with the cloud
InfoWorld.com proposes an alternative killer of the PC that, while related to the innovations of the cloud, are not the cloud itself. Instead, the website proposes, the major shift in IT is thanks to the further penetration of devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets.

Although the proliferation of these mobile devices did precede the cloud as we know it today - it isn't exactly a chicken vs. the egg dilemma - the next step is for the cloud to catch up the built-in capabilities of these devices. According to InfoWorld, when cloud-based data and application management arrive at the same level as the current hardware in place, it will become standard.

-McAfee Cloud Security