Few anticipated (in particular those concerned with privacy in the network), that consumers would adopt cloud services so quickly and massively. Web-based services like email and photo sharing have been with us now for a long time (“long”, certainly as defined in technological terms). But new services unheard of by most consumers until recently, are growing at a surprisingly high clip — “cloud-assisted” online data backups, video streaming, home automation and surveillance, augmented reality, remote computing, and even shopping.
Traditionally, enterprises have been more cautious to wet their toes on new technologies. From financial institutions to Government entities, all have concerns about secure cloud access, data privacy, authentication and authorization. Vendors, service and content providers, and developers in a variety of industries are addressing those concerns in many ways, including through initiatives like the ng Connect Program where thought leaders can collaborate to address some of the more complex issues and the innovations required to address them. The managed or hosted services of old have evolved into a modular, elastic cloud offer that allows the creation of new secure services with high availability, that can be scaled, up or down, with competitive costs.
Communications service providers can seize a key position in the service delivery value chain. They, along with vendors, such as Alcatel-Lucent, provide the “link” that enables cloud services to be delivered — high-speed connectivity. The cloud is the engine that puts the “smarts” in our smart devices, but what good is a powerful engine if it can’t connect to the wheels?
With Verizon’s recent commercial launch of 4G/LTE mobile broadband connectivity and the announcement of 4G-like speeds by AT&T and T-Mobile (delivered by HSPA+), it’s only natural for carriers to extend their offering to cloud services, as evidenced by AT&T’s recent launch of their Synaptic Storage enterprise offer and Verizon’s acquisition of Terremark, a leading provider of secure cloud-based resources. Cloud-based connected services unlock new revenue opportunities and business models for the carriers while allowing us, the end users, access to a new and vast array of customized processing resources that we can enjoy via a modest smart-terminal, and giving us the potential to be more effective in our personal and professional lives.
I, for one, am excited about what this means for the future. Stay tuned.
– Silvio Fernandez, Alcatel-Lucent