Mick Jagger may have sung “Hey you, get off of my cloud,” but the new refrain will be “Hey you, get onto my cloud” as a new era of online collaboration and sharing kicks off big time. In fact the reign of the personal computer as the sole corporate access device is coming to a close and by 2014, the personal cloud will replace the personal computer at the centre of users’ digital lives according to research giant Gartner.

New Levels Of Productivity

Gartner analysts said the personal cloud will begin a new era that will provide users with a new level of flexibility with the devices they use for daily activities, while leveraging the strengths of each device, ultimately enabling new levels of user satisfaction and productivity. However, and this is where the chasm needs bridging, it will require enterprises to fundamentally rethink how they deliver applications and services to users.

“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, research vice president 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.”

Whirlwind In Computing Space

The past two years have been a whirlwind in the client computing space, leaving many enterprises asking what comes next and what the environment will look like in five years.

“Many call this era the post-PC era, but it isn’t really about being ‘after’ the PC, but rather about a new style of personal computing that frees individuals to use computing in fundamentally new ways to improve multiple aspects of their work and personal lives,” Mr. Kleynhans said.

Several driving forces are combining to create this new era. These megatrends have roots that extend back through the past decade but are aligning in a new way.