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Experts predict that the cloud is doing more than revolutionizing data services. By 2014, it’s expected that PCs will be replaced by a collection of other devices – mainly smartphones and tablets – utilizing cloud computing.

The personal cloud is an integral part of the trend toward self-service and caters to multiple device users. It offers ease of access to important data that is shared seamlessly between all the personal devices a user might own. In order for these devices to integrate into a consumer’s daily life efficiently, they require the convenience offered by cloud services. While this won’t be the death of personal computers and laptops, it does signal the end of their reign.

THE POST PC-ERA

The news of the upcoming cloud computing takeover comes as little surprise, as computers have been in the decline for years. With the recent rise of personal devices and more consumers becoming dependent on portable technology, businesses have been forced to change the way they deliver content to their consumers. The current market trend focuses on accessibility, convenience, self-service and the need to make content available across all platforms. Specifically, companies are targeting app market users and actively changing the way applications are designed and marketed.

“Major trends in client computing have shifted the market away from a focus on personal computers to a broader device perspective that includes smartphones, tablets and other consumer devices,” said Steve Kleynhans, the vice president of research at Gartner. “Emerging cloud services will become the glue that connects the web of devices that users choose to access during the different aspects of their daily life.”

Kleynhans expects that with this trend, users will start to demand more functionality and additional services from their devices. As technology advances, smartphones will be able to perform the same tasks as a computer – touch and speech interfaces are already proving to be dynamic and capable interfaces. As a result, companies will be forced to offer competitive services with customizable options, and consumers will have a wider range of services to pick and choose from. Currently, major competitors are already releasing cloud-centric services and products that offer different perks and features.

“In this new world, the specifics of devices will become less important for the organization to worry about,” Kleynhans said. “Users will use a collection of devices, with the PC remaining one of many options, but no one device will be the primary hub. Rather, the personal cloud will take on that role. Access to the cloud and the content stored or shared in the cloud will be managed and secured, rather than solely focusing on the device itself.”