We talk a lot about the cloud, and how cloud-empowered solutions such as the hosted desktop are transforming the way we do business. But how else is cloud technology shaping our world?
Let’s take a look.
According to the experts, 2.5 billion more people will live in cities by 2050. Such increased urbanisation will intensify challenges relating to thing like housing, infrastructure, transportation, etc.
But, by empowering smarter and more sustainable cities, the cloud could provide the answer.
Smart cities use the Internet of things (IoT) to collect data. This data is then used to manage assets and resources more efficiently. And this is already happening. Today, there are smart city programs implemented in Singapore, Dubai, Milton Keynes, Southampton, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Madrid, Stockholm, Copenhagen, China and New York.
The data collected by smart cities is vast. And it is growing. It also comes from a broad range of sources including from citizens and devices.
Soon, smart cities all over the world will be using this data to manage things such as traffic and transportation systems, utilities, policing, education, hospitals, etc.
Crucially, by using cloud-based technology, smart cities will be better placed to devise strategies to tackle some real and pressing concerns. For example, things like climate change, the divide between rich and poor, ageing populations, and population growth and decline.
In 2009, Google unveiled its ambitious self-driving car project. In 2016, Elon Musk promised drivers a vehicle that could drive “hands-free” from New York to Los Angeles within a year. While the co-founder of Lyft predicted that most rides would be autonomous vehicles by 2021. And, while we might be a little off-schedule, today, driverless cars are more science-fact than science-fiction.
In fact, in the US, Ford has partnered with Walmart and Postmates in a pilot project to test delivering groceries and pet food using self-driving vehicles. And, Waymo self-driving cars (the evolution of Google’s initial project) is currently ready to begin testing in hurricane season weather in Florida.
With the cloud, home healthcare monitoring will increase. For example, infrared cameras could take regular photographs of a person’s face, with doctors alerted to any changes. This could lead to earlier identification of pre-cancerous cells.
Clinicians will also be able to make better use of the wealth of data collected by fitness trackers, smartwatches, smartphone apps etc. This data will be used to help us fight diseases and make more informed health and lifestyle choices.
A post-digital world
We are entering the ‘post-digital’ era. A world where organisations are no longer exploring emerging technologies, but are implementing disruptive technologies. This includes things like mobile, social, cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), etc. In such a world, almost all aspects of our lives will be digital by default.
So, rather than having on and offline worlds, the future will see a seamless path between the two. In other words, our lives will be enriched and enabled by technology, rather than engulfed by it.
If you’re thinking about investing in technology to aid your organisation’s digital transformation, speak to a member of our team to find out more.
 UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)