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2012 will go down as the Year of Cloud Computing

2012 has been a challenge and a year of recovery and change for Northern Nevada. If you are reading this, then you have survived the end-of-time hype of the Mayan calendar prophecies and probably are resigned to continue your march toward the new year. As you contemplate the beginning of a new calendar, it is a good time to review 2012 and see where past developments portend new opportunities.

One of the biggest local announcements was Apple’s decision to build a data center and office space in the region. While this is great news for our local economy, the real benefits will come from the name recognition and the diversification that this type of industry can bring. Technology-focused businesses like Apple, Intuit and Microsoft attract and develop a new type of workforce that will positively influence the economy, education and our community for years to come.

I believe that 2012 was the year of the cloud. While I have been writing about cloud computing for some time, 2012 seemed like the tipping point for cloud adoption. We personally migrated hundreds of desktops from premise-based Microsoft mail services to cloud solutions delivered thorough Microsoft’s Office 365 platform. During the past 12 months, Microsoft and many other technology providers have built and enhanced cloud services for both business and personal use.

Cloud storage and solutions for backup, sharing files and collaboration have exploded. Everyone I know now uses cloud solutions for both business and personal services. Because these services are centrally delivered and managed, they will grow and develop faster than traditional software services.

Every year brings new hardware and software developments that can change the way we work and play. Technologies like the iPad and Android tablets have redefined computing, application delivery and mobility. 2012 brought us a new platform developed by Microsoft and designed to work across phones, personal computers, tablets and entertainment systems.

The introduction of Windows 8, the Surface tablet and the Phone 8 operating system, coupled with Microsoft’s new cloud storage and application services, promises to deliver enhanced capabilities to business users. All of these devices are touch-enabled and provide a common user interface and application set. This development will give business users the ability to access, edit and share data using familiar software tools from any device.

Technology continues to advance at a dizzying pace, the question is how do you best adopt it or take advantage of it to enhance your business and personal life. Technology has the power to consume you or to enhance your productivity and creativity.

Next week, I’ll take a look at the technologies and companies that will influence our lives in 2013.


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