For quite some time now, there has been an effort to go or move cross platform without friction. At one time, it seemed that all that was necessary was good networks and software as an enabler. As cloud services became more reliable and available, it suddenly also dawned that the piece in the mix necessary to enable truly cross platform functionality that was robust and frictionless not only required compatible software and networks for delivery but so too the cloud. The cloud effectively brought services to any platform regardless of location.
Proliferation of Cloud Services
Often, as a technology evolves, application function is found for the tool that might have been considered but not proven. We’ve had, in recent times, a rampant burgeoning of cloud services. As supply began to exceed demand, it was easy to apply possible solutions using the cloud that during limited times would have proven difficult.
We now, in effect, can choose from not just a variety of cloud services but cloud services that provide substantive capacity reasonably with a number of inherent benefits such as the way data is managed so that it is redundant and protected. It it is not unusual to be able to get unlimited cloud services storage space reasonably thus negating the need for large local storage.
An Example: Streamnation
An interesting example of this is a service that would really not have been very effective five years ago due to limited capacity but it becoming %100 viable with every passing day.
Streamnation offers the ability to upload, as an example, your movies, that you can share or stream to a friend much like Netflix. If there was a limitation in service size it would have either cost you a lot of money to get a significant number of movies on the service or you might have been limited in the first place. Now, they have an unlimited storage option so you can amass quite the library to share.
Technology is improving from a Bandwidth Perspective
It would not matter how much bandwidth you had if it took countless days to move films to the service. Fortunately, these technologies are improving in tandem so that you can move films up to a service at a significantly higher rate than was only recently available.
The price of cloud services will continue to come down as will the price of the technologies that move the date to that cloud but at a significantly improved cost factor.
The cloud is now enabling the beginning of some new and exciting applications that will prove not only useful in terms of increased productivity but the capability can add to our need for relaxing activities. Since the cloud is platform agnostic, it can deliver services to a variety end user hardware without trouble.
Local Hardware: Onedrive
Microsoft’s strategy for the cloud is brilliant and it will be fully cross platform based by the way they are heading. Onedrive simply views all your information, always at your fingertips, anywhere via Onedrive cloud service. The beauty of this is you do not need to think of backup strategies, the amount 0f hardware you might need or the device you’re using.
In terms of productivity, nothing could be better. Rather than saving things locally you save everything to Onedrive. Theoretically, you could get away with a Surface Pro outfitted with 64 gigs of storage. Or you might have a Macbook Air, iPhone, BlackBerry, Android phone etc all connected to Onedrive preferably using Microsoft’s 365. There are many aspects to this that are appealing but the least of not which is that it would not matter which platform you used to access your information.
Technologies Working together not against One Another
Inevitably, the person that takes the best advantage of these capabilities stands to gain the most. At this point, it would seem that Microsoft and BlackBerry are poised or at least very open to these concepts. That might be a result of when you’re backed into a corner you are more open to other solutions and Microsoft is having trouble trying to engage a Windows only strategy and BlackBerry would like to provide the security that is necessary when you have a very open world.
Apple’s strength lies at the end user side of equation however, they could benefit by this working together approach to a large degree also. It’s impossible to do it all and to do it all well. Companies, as do people, need to work together to solve problems. Apple can gain a lot in this cross platform, open world. They produce top notch end user equipment but it begs the question can they do it all. If it were to stay in house possibly but the direction is fairly clear that companies not only want to take advantage of differing capabilities from other sources, they need to.
The Transformative vs the Competitive Economy
As we progress through the age of digital information, the revolution that is changing all our lives, companies are entering a new era of what creates success. Previously, it was all about the competitive economy and could you get more out of x or reduce the cost of y. Now we are entering what is being referred to as the transformative economy which takes new skill sets to get things to market rapidly. Rather, companies that can remake themselves fast, will win. Technology does not stand still and our outputs need conform to what’s capable quickly.
The world, operating inter-connectedly, can do this. Cross platform allows people to work together and move quickly. Rather than beating each other to death, as the competitive economy dictates, in the transformational economy you move fast in your areas of expertise pulling together things quickly to meet market demands. If you don’t do it, guaranteed someone else will. Therefore, the benefit is real to one pulling this off.
Bringing it Together
Cross platform allows one to choose the platform that suits them but have access to the information. It enhances collaborative ability. The user of cross platform only needs to work with that which requires it to be cross platform. Not very long ago, the options for this were limited.
Now, via technologies that bring the data together, software that doesn’t insist on platform and user preference, cross platform opens up much. We can work in teams that wherein the platform used is not centrally dictated and might not be the best for the job.
This is happening now. The idea of it is not threatening in a transformational environment but certainly might be in a competitive one.
So there is a strong move, a yelling if you will, to provide product that functions this way. Onedrive is much more than a theoretical positioning. It is One cloud based, logical drive, accessed regardless of location. This only a name but there can be many onedrives.
Security enabled by IBM, Microsoft or BlackBerry just ensures that security protocols can be deployed fast.
The Meeting of Will
Open minds will see this for what it is and survive as they can, cost effectively. No longer hemmed in by the boundaries we call “our company” we deploy that which we need to. From a personal point of view, we use devices which work best for us. At a larger level though, these device are part of a complex system that ensures we can carry out our function but likely in a more enjoyable way, as we chose it.
Cross platform, enabled by cloud services, ensures we can now move beyond a device ensnarled world and use that which we prefer. Todoist, as example runs the same on a BlackBerry, iPhone, Android device etc ensuring that regardless of device we’re working with the same information. Common applications, enabled via the cloud has moved us forward dramatically. Applications will turn up that will see this process as the road ahead. The days of being stuck in a device specific environment are behind us.