Before we move on to the new cloud security paper, a reminder on cloud mobility from John Rote, Vice President of Customer Experience at Bonobos:

“Today’s emerging post-PC environment means that any improvements and development that take place for the desktop computing environment must carry over to mobile.”

You can download our paper on mobility and cloud platforms, Unleashing the Cloud, free (with registration) here .

“Today’s emerging post-PC environment means that any improvements and development that take place for the desktop computing environment must carry over to mobile.”

– John Rote, Vice President of Customer Experience, Bonobos, quoted in our report on PaaS and mobiilty, Unleashing the Cloud, which you can download free here .

The chart below shows features and capabilities deemed essential for mobile cloud platforms, by total responses and cloud leaders — those respondents who have more mature approaches to cloud strategy (chart and data from our report on PaaS and mobiilty, Unleashing the Cloud, which you can download free here ).

Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents (65%) say that access to cloud services via a mobile environment; 58% demand access to multi-vendor on-premise systems; 57% want access to packaged applications; and 51% desire an ability to customize packaged applications. Finally, 42% noted a desire to build custom apps. The need to customize systems, tools, and applications must be met without making users go through the process of recompiling code and reprogramming systems and interfaces. These customizations often revolve around adding, changing, and removing fields; and localizing addresses and currencies to fit the conventions and marketplaces for different countries. The ability to standardize systems and data is a significant benefit.

Companies are using cloud platforms to address a variety of customer needs through mobile deployments. Among the most prominent: real-time customer service, cited by 67% of the respondents; faster response times (59%); better customer retention (47%); increased brand loyalty (43%); and higher revenues (33%). Asia and Latin America lead on real-time customer service, EMEA on faster response times and customer service; North America is the only region not to lead at least one category. (Chart and data from our report on PaaS and mobiilty, Unleashing the Cloud, which you can download free here ).

Customer needs are at the focus of mobile strategy, especially for large companies. Other key areas of concern include boosting internal productivity, enabling collaboration, and unleashing faster time to value for the business (click chart to enlarge; chart and data from our report on PaaS and mobiilty, Unleashing the Cloud, which you can download free here ).

About 6 weeks ago I was invited to attend the Bay -Area Churchill Club meeting featuring the CEOs of Jive and Box talking with Andreesen Horowitz and Bloomberg Businessweek .  The conversation between all 4 speakers was good, covering a number of trends and involving the 100 or so people on the audience.  Inevitably, the conversation turned to the “triple point” of mobile, social and big data impacting nearly every business, labeled “the future of work” by the Churchill team.

Reinforcing comments from this Churchill group is the metrics-based Oxford Economics study, Unleashing the Cloud .  All of our smartphones, tablets and PC are increasingly connecting 24×7 to mobile cloud platforms that support a variety of business needs, with some variation in the rate of adoption in different regions. For example, Oxford notes that 61% of survey respondents indicate that they use cloud platforms to rapidly deploy new services and capabilities – and many of those likely are remote apps to increase workplace productivity.

Let’s go back to the Churchill Club, which from its inception 28 years ago has a track record of trend-spotting and putting their fingers on the pulse of tech Industry. There was no disagreement from anyone that Social is the new wave or beltway of business. An earlier wave, distributed computing, was an improvement but certainly didn’t deliver the office of the future.  Now, with Moore’s Law ticking along we are certainly closer to what famous news personality Walter Cronkite called the “Home of the Future” 46 years ago — where “work will come to us.”  Incredibly insightful,  and that future is real today, but is the “office of the future” cutting our average work hours?  No, last year Fortune noted we work up to 12 hours weekly beyond those worked only a few years ago.

Corporate IT has spent the last three decades building successful infrastructure for boosting worker productivity.  And now we’re collectively breaking it into four pieces – cloud, social, mobile and big data.  What’s missing is the people portion of the equation.  Churchill presenters even called this out by shouting out, “Who remembers what BCC even stands for?”  Think old technology and mimeograph in action.  Spreading newer tech over the next 5-10 years will increasingly combine what Aberdeen calls SoMoClo (social/mobile/cloud).  Want proof? Think about Amazon Web Services a mere 10 years ago vs. today and how NetFlix or even SAP’s own SAPafaria.com $1.11/month MDM product easily scales to a global workforce.  And, that global workforce is no longer the sole responsibility of the CIO.  Democratization is quickly taking hold.

How quickly is SoMoClo taking hold in the workplace?

$2 trillion USD is spent on IT according to IDC researchers and $131 billion of that is shelled out on cloud services according to Gartner.  Cloud delivers the ability to innovate and execute on business needs quickly.  Is this the beginning to a @ work, perhaps?  Certainly a new group of 3 kings or industry leaders is emerging according to the Churchill presenters.  The Economist even points out this cloud phenomenon as an important part of today’s 3 rd Industrial Revolution.  IT innovation cycles are moving even faster now thanks to SoMoClo and include a rapid embodiment of machine-to-machine (M2M) for embedded, intelligent data economy-based network – hopefully nothing like the Terminator movies of course.

Summing up our future of work, Churchill presenters and analysts agree that mobile and cloud platforms require a good deal of planning and effort. Oxford goes on to note that “organizations must develop a cohesive and focused strategy and break down silos and departmental boundaries in order to achieve maximum results.”  The future of work 28 or 46 years from now will no doubt focus on how IT and workers adopt efficient workflows and ensure that cooperative governance and security protections exist.  Both Churchill and Cronkite may be on to a longer term trend.

From our paper on mobility and cloud platforms, Unleashing the Cloud ( click here to download, free registration required):

Enterprises are using cloud platforms to address a variety of customer needs through mobile deployments. Among the most prominent: real-time customer service, cited by 67% of the respondents; faster response times (59%); better customer retention (47%); increased brand loyalty (43%); and higher revenues (33%).

“As more and more people use mobile devices and access data from remote offices and the field, there is a strong argument that data shouldn’t reside in the data center. It should be stored in the cloud, which, by definition, is distributed. This makes data much more accessible and simplifies IT requirements.”

– John Considine, CTO for Verizon Terremark, quoted in our new paper on cloud platforms and mobility, Unleashing the Cloud ( click here to download, free registration required).

How cloud leaders approach mobility, from our latest paper ( click here to download, free registration required):

Cloud leaders—those survey respondents who are ahead of their peers in adopting and exploiting cloud technologies—are more likely to have deployed one or more mobile apps and to have instituted a BYOD policy. Yet these leaders trail the pack in some meaningful areas, including adoption of cloud-based mobile services and VPN access via mobile devices, indicating the dynamism of the mobile cloud arena. (Leaders are identified based on planned investment in cloud computing, adoption of cloud platforms by a majority of their business functions, and approach to managing cloud risk, with leaders opting for management by the risk or legal function.)

Click image to enlarge: