Computing Everywhere

Modern communication has changed the way people work on their laptops, tablets, smartphones, and even the wearable devices. People work at their own pace and convenience, and office is no longer the place where people congregate to work. The latest communication and computing techniques have broken down the conformity, giving more flexibility, choice and freedom in daily tasks. Automated computing has made the repetitive and tedious paperwork obsolete, making the processes smoother. This is keeping the workers happier and more productive, making them less inclined to leave jobs.

Computing everywhere is similar to IoT (Internet of Things), however the emphasis is not only on online connection, but also on the working interface on the regular objects. Essentially, users can manage the content on different interconnected devices. Apple watch and Google Glass can both be considered as the latest additions to the ever growing number of varied computing devices. Apple’s Siri, Google Now and Alexa have been listening to us, and the conversation is continuously evolving, blurring the perception of the experience with our devices. These devices can sense our environments, feel our emotions and personalize our experiences. Gauging and notifying about road rage, analysing health from facial recognition, and notifying about binge shopping are becoming a reality, taking our interactions with machines to the next level. Personal assistants are learning our preferences and behaviours, reminding us to take our pills, monitoring our sleep, reminding us to shop, or to brush our teeth. Washing machines to thermostats to dog collars, everything is being increasingly connected to the Internet, and taking advantage of this connectivity. Recognition and gesture computing is helping our smart devices to understand the voices, movements and photos, enabling them to have perception of the world around them, learn from this perception and increasingly become more intelligent. These devices are becoming an integral part of our families and offices, guiding us in our personal and professional lives by sensing our emotions and take actions accordingly. The huge volume of generated data is processed to define human intelligence. Computing everywhere is crumbling the barrier between man and machine as there are efforts to replicate intelligence.

Gartner coined the term ‘Computing Everywhere’ for this change where the computing devices have penetrated every aspect of our lives. We start our day with swiping the mobile screen for mails, continuing work on the laptop in the office, and work on the tablet at home in the night: this is computing everywhere, and is considered one of the most strategic technology trends for 2015-16. As compared to 14 million internet users in 1993, there are over 3.5 billion users today, and the trend continues to grow. The number of connected devices is expected to be 50 billion by 2020. It is estimated that the employee-owned tablets and smart phones as a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy will be more than one billion devices globally by 2018.

This is the result of gradual increase in the mobile adoption, and the fact that mobile devices are helping employees maintain a good work-life balance. However, there are several challenges involved in this.

For IT departments, there are huge implications from security, as well as productivity point of view. Employees demand access to the core business data and applications using any device they own. Each employee needs to have access to the information, however, it is essential that the critical and sensitive information reaches only the right people, while complying with the relevant regulations. There is no more perimeter over which a security blanket can be easily thrown. The big challenge for the companies is that either the business applications are not available for mobile device, or they do not have a device-optimized UX due to a wide array of disparate applications on different hardware and platform.

To maintain competitiveness and profitability in this ever-evolving dynamically computing everywhere world, companies need an in-depth understanding of the processes, making up this information flow, and then automating the ones that can be automated. The processes that cannot be automated need to be streamlined, else information sharing can become insecure, inefficient and chaotic. This requires a whole new thinking paradigm on how the businesses operate, and how information is flowing within and across these business units, without compromising on the data security.

Information computing is all around us, we can compute everywhere: on our smartphones, desktops, tablets, laptop- as long as there is internet connectivity. With computing everywhere, we need to get ready for the future where the interaction boundary between computing devices and humans is gradually blurring out. Success of computing anywhere depends on the solid integration strategy for the core enterprise data and applications, keeping in mind the emerging endpoint devices such as Microsoft HoloLens and Apple Watch.