Gartner: Forget PCs, the 'personal cloud' will rule in 2 years

IT needs to realize the era of the single controlled access device is over -- or get bypassed

According to Gartner, the use of the personal computer as the sole access device will come to a close by 2014. What will replace it? The personal cloud.

The report says, "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, it will require enterprises to fundamentally rethink how they deliver applications and services to users."

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OK, what the hell is a personal cloud?

Gartner's conclusions build on the topic of my last blog, which I wrote before seeing this report. My concept was that the use of cloud-based resources provides us with the flexibility to work with many different devices, and the personal cloud will become the new center of our digital universe.

I've been living this life for some time now, with several computers and mobile devices all accessing the same cloud services: document sharing, file system, email, and so on. I'm not alone. In the past, I carried around one laptop with everything on it, and further back, I carried a box of 3.5-inch disks between my work and home tower computers.

Things have changed for the better, and the use of consumer-oriented personal, public, and private clouds are the driving force. I agree with Gartner on this one: The game is shifting.

The trouble is that most enterprises don't see this one coming, which the Gartner report also points out. But users do. Traditional IT needs to understand the value and the use of personal clouds, as well as how they can work and play with existing enterprise data and application resources. These plans need to be created now. Otherwise, this wave will crush enterprise IT. You've been warned.

This article, "Gartner: Forget PCs, the 'personal cloud' will rule in 2 years," originally appeared at Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and track the latest developments in cloud computing at For the latest business technology news, follow on Twitter.