With Cloud it’s all about the ecosystem.

Cloud computing. Hardly a new concept. Then why is it so important? Everyone is racing towards providing cloud solutions. So here is why I think the cloud matters so much.

Previously the cloud in the consumer section was introduced to offload storage. It started with first providing a more reliable and easy to access solution for storage in the cloud and then for simply more storage than the mobile devices could manage offline. A combination of offline and cloud storage meant that devices now could have access to gigabytes of videos and photos and other data on the go and also not worry about drives corrupting or failing. And the prices have dropped for cloud solutions due to some serious competition.

The trend today has evolved. Companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon are now developing their product ecosystem around the cloud. And while this was previously predicted to happen sometime in the future, the future is today and its going to become common from now. Every product is now a part of this ecosystem that communicates over the cloud and keeps everything in perfect synchronization. All your data is not only available across all your devices but also your devices are now designed to do this transparently with deeper integration than ever.

At first companies like Google and Apple started with applications that were connected to the cloud. So when you open this application on another cloud connected device it would have a synchronized database and you could pick up right where you left off. But now its the whole operating system that is cloud connected. Setting up Android and iOS devices means entering your credentials. Once you do that your entire device gets fine tuned to your personal preferences and you don’t even have to do anything out of the way. Your device now is constantly connected to the cloud and that unlocks a lot more potential for the manufacturers. They even went as far as adding low power CPU cores to facilitate this.

In the future, with IoT devices only growing, you will be forced to give into the ecosystem. For now its just your Phone and your tablet and Laptop but soon, and even today to some extent, you will realize that if you wanted to make a new purchase, you would want to buy something that plays well with the ecosystem you are currently invested in. Microwaves, ovens, refrigerators, cars, watches, glasses, televisions, DVRs, streaming devices, VR headsets, you want everything that can be connected via the cloud to your ecosystem of devices.

A company like Apple does the best job at this and Google is now trying to get you to do the same. The Mac the iPhone and the iPad along with the Apple Watch and AppleTV play very well with each other. On the other hand if you have Android wear and Chromecast with an iPhone and a PC you are only going to be fidgeting with the settings to get something done. Google has so far tried to make sure that it offers its services on all platforms. But take a look at GoogleWiFi. It simply forces you to use it with a google account. Its no longer just a router. Its cloud connected and as a result a part of the Google ecosystem. Now if you had to pair it with an Android phone, Android wear and Chromecast it would all make sense and a breeze to work with.

You would argue that you are ok with playing with a few settings but these settings will soon become less relevant with the cloud connected nature of devices. It would simply make sense to give into the ecosystem instead. And thats where the money is. When you are invested in the ecosystem, whenever a manufacturer comes up with a new category of product, it makes a lot more sense to make a purchase if you are in that ecosystem. A simple strategy driven by the cloud.

Cloud is usually cheaper, easier to develop apps around, easier to deploy and offer a much better experience and performance to the consumer. And while cloud is not a new concept, the applications and devices that will be made around them will be something very different from what we have seen in the past and it only gets better from here.

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Author: Chinmay Thosar

Personal blog. Mostly tech stuff.

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