The Personal Cloud: Transforming Personal Computing, Mobile, And Web Markets

Location: Strata OLC July Level:

The personal computing experience for individuals is broken, ruptured by the fragmentation of personal information across PCs and mobile devices and the scattering of content across a multitude of online services. The personal computing experience is being rebuilt around personal cloud services, rather than personal devices. Individuals will build their own personal cloud experience around three core elements: a core service of web-based email with extra application capabilities as calendars and contacts, several component service offerings that complement the core, and the multitude of personal devices and OSes that enable connection to the personal cloud. The numbers are startling: 28% of US online adults are using personal cloud services already, along with 41% of US information workers. The market is expected to grow from $500M to $6B in direct revenue by 2016, primarily driven by the adoption of multiple devices. I identify several other revenue models, from advertising to improved retention for related services to Business IT purchases, which puts the total market impact at $12B by 2016. The three main players in this space are Apple, Google and Microsoft, with Apple leading the pack. The personal cloud becomes the third client software platform, following mobile devices and PC OSes.

Photo of Frank Gillett

Frank Gillett

Forrester Research

Frank Gillett is a vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, where he serves Vendor Strategy professionals. In his role, he analyzes paradigm shifts in the economics of the IT industry caused by the emergence of new infrastructure technologies like cloud computing services and virtualization. Frank first joined Forrester in 1998, and later kicked off the company’s research on Organic IT in 2002, setting a market-leading vision for shared and automated IT infrastructure. He has a master’s degree in management from the MIT Sloan School of Management, a master’s degree from the MIT Technology and Policy Program, and holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Duke University.