Cloud computing visionary, technology innovator, and agent of change David Linthicum said that mobile’s next great leap will happen in the cloud. And indeed, it did.
Now we are facing the era where technology is constantly changing, innovative and far reaching. In 2014, the tech landscape was dominated by Smart TVs, Smart watches, Google glass, 3D printing, wireless charging, Big data and cloud, among others.
Mobile cloud, which established its name years back, has been gaining traction over the past two years. With the surge of smartphones, phablets, tablets and other portable computing devices, everything seems to be cloud compatible.
What is mobile cloud computing?
Have you ever been bound by the storage capacity of your mobile device? You can’t download as many apps as you want nor can you store enough data. These problems are just a few of the issues that experts suggest have been answered by cloud computing for mobiles.
Mobile devices as a channel to access the internet is starting to overpower PCs. These mobile and handheld devices now account for a bigger part of IP data traffic around the world. Since mobile device giants like Apple and Samsung continue to release newer devices every few months, the need and demand to support the data these devices house also increases.
To answer this demand, mobile cloud computing posed a most plausible answer, boasting its scalability and ubiquitous network access, among other features. Mobile cloud computing has been said to present infinite computing resources.
With mobile cloud computing, mobiles devices can perform heavy tasks while procuring huge amounts of data, all without taking a toll on the mobile device itself. The cloud stores this massive amount data and everything else is done outside the device.
Cloud for mobile helps mobile users and providers design applications without being restricted by the device’s Operating System as well as memory capacity. Remote web servers power cloud capacity, therefore there is no need for third party or client involvement.
Currently, cloud computing offers three basic cloud services: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS). Also, cloud services offer these cloud solutions based on the type of MCC: General Purpose MCC and the Application Specific MCC.
Benefits and Advantages of Mobile Cloud Computing
For mobile devices, the use of cloud can prove advantageous. Here are several benefits of mobile cloud computing:
Cloud computing boasts of flexibility since it provides users access to their data from anywhere around the world. Thanks to mobile devices, this can be done without the physical bulk of laptops. As long as there is internet, data can be accessed, modified and put to use.
#2 Real-Time Availability
As we mentioned above, data in the cloud can be accessed through mobile devices whenever you may be. As long as you have an internet connection, you can use the apps you want on your mobile while it transmits the data to some remote server anywhere in the world. Since cloud and remote web servers are known to offer good services, real-time data as you need it is completely possible.
#3 Multiple Platforms
Mobile devices are continuing to adapt to the needs of users. Mobile cloud computing can be supported by multiple platforms. Data can be accessed using these platforms that are suited to users’ needs and its availability.
#4 Higher quality applications
Most cloud servers are advanced and high end. This allows users to access their favourite applications in high quality.
#5 Auto updates
Cloud-stored data and applications are usually updated automatically. The cloud itself makes sure that these updates are continuous, lifting the burden away from users.
#6 Cheaper app development
Since it’s in the cloud, there is a good chance that app development and marketing will be less costly. If it is pushed through, developers will not be burdened by creating apps for various mobile OSs or going through different application stores. This would mean bigger revenues for programmers prompting them to produce more noteworthy apps for users.
#7 Unlimited storage
Storage is one of the major specifications that influences consumers to buy or not buy a phone. Plus, storage capacity of mobile devices often can decide whether an application will be downloaded successfully or not. When users have cloud-oriented mobile devices, the storage problem is addressed right away since there can be no limit at a fraction of a cost.
#8 Extended battery life
Even if applications are idle they can still eat up lots of battery life. Experts believe MCC will be advantageous since it can extend battery life.
Challenges of Mobile Cloud Computing
#1 Issue of privacy
Using the cloud means you entrust your personal data to be stored remotely. Many people find this concerning for several reason: what if your data gets sold? What if this data gets turned over to the government? What if this data is used without the user’s permission? The scenarios are endless for the cryptics.
Cloud providers fight off this issue by proposing several levels of security.
#2 Issue of Data Ownership
So, what if you bought something off the web in terms of digital media – a movie, for instance. When it is stored in the cloud, who owns it? There’s a big chance that users may lose access to this kind of media one purchased if there is denial of access or a cloud service has suddenly stopped.
#3 Issue of Data Access and Security
Storing everything in the cloud may cause you some problems if there is a power outage or internet outage. An example for this is an online planner used for your day-to-day transactions. If power and internet connection suddenly stop, you won’t be able to modify it or access it. Cloud computing could even be interrupted and intercepted, so the issue of security comes into play.
#4 Issue of Connectivity
Today, the world is wired by the internet. There is WiFi everywhere. When WiFi is not available, mobile data connection can be used. This option of connectivity helps in mobile cloud computing. But what if there is no WiFi signal or you’re in a place that is out of range where you can’t establish a connection?
Mobile cloud computing should be employed by users who are sure of their connective ability.
#5 Issue of Performance
This issue is often void for many. However, the question must be asked: will cloud stored applications be up to par with native applications? This, I’d say, would depend on your MCC solutions provider.
Mobile Cloud Computing and the Future
There are several trends putting MCC in the spotlight today. CloudTtweaks outlined these trends:
- Apps are getting smart
- Phone networks are putting more value in their services
- 4G LTE
- Ipad’s entry into the enterprise
- Mobile commerce
- Types of devices fragmented
- Worker mobility increased
- Fragility of mobile devices
All these trends helped the move to the cloud, although there are other factors such as the benefits we mentioned above
Now that the use of the cloud has significantly risen over the past few years, we will be seeing these promised benefits of MCC in the near future with all issues improved. It will just be a matter of time before we will be seeing MCC as the focal point of most mobile business.
Businesses see the future of MCC as boundless, where data is not trapped but highly accessible. By the time this happens, mobiles and tablets will become client devices while all data will be stored in the cloud.
Do you think Mobile Cloud Computing will mean more freedom on our devices? Or will it affect our data security?
featured image: Marcela Palma