You are on page 1of 3

Trends in Cloud and Mobile Software In the future, swirling clouds of software ecosystems will constantly battle to attend

to our needs. They will evolve both incrementally and dramatically as new features are added, new algorithms are developed and new capabilities are offered to the public. Categories of software will focus around each human need, such as purchasing the various items we use for everyday life, guarding our health, and guiding our interactions with fellow humans and our machine universe. New functional area computer platforms will evolve to manage each major area of mobile applications. There will also be fierce competition for dominance in master platforms, which will coordinate and integrate the data from the functional area platforms. All of these softwares will undergo constant change in a competitive environment. Companies will be bought and sold. New capabilities will be offered. Some programs will specialize in managing other programs by being platforms for a particular category of activities. We will have software that we use as individuals, software that organizations of various sizes use, and software that interacts with the government and associated civic organizations. Already we see in the stock market complex situations where software is authorized to trade automatically in support of company or individual goals. These systems are developed with the input of many smart people and tested extensively1. We will see analogous programs and models developed to support human activities in other spheres. It is easy to envision purchasing agents working for us 24/7, optimizing our expenses versus a list of needed supplies over a specified time frame, such as the next 3 to 6 months. These programs will be able to calculate the lowest total cost for branded goods, including delivery charges, coupons or promotions, matched to our ideal storage level quantity2. To my mind, one of the most important areas will be personal health. We will rapidly accelerate from today's initial efforts to monitor first level health indicators such as heart rate, oxygen level, blood sugar level to a much more robust health monitoring and prediction environment. Future medicine will evolve to include teamwork between physicians and diagnostic programs, dramatically reducing the incidence of misdiagnosis. Doctors in partnership with computers will be able to evaluate a lifetime’s record of biomarkers, medical history and existing test results. They will be able to order new tests as needed, to confirm or deny diagnostic probabilities.

1

Trading models typically perform by creating “alpha,” that is, positive value, for a limited period of time and then decay in performance. Then they are replaced by new models that hopefully will produce value. The agents that we discuss in this article should be more stable, as the models are more deterministic. 2 There are many possible taxonomies for these personal applications and platforms. For example, Apple uses 24 top level categories in iTunes; Google Play has 18. The IDC taxonomy for business software has three top level categories encompassing 168 subcategories. Here I offer one with seven main categories for your consideration: Health: which will contain applications, information and data for healthcare, medicine, exercise, food, drink and related topics. Social: this platform will organize communications, games, entertainment, hobbies and possibly contain the main e-mail engine. Money: this will be your platform for finance, investments, bill paying, purchasing and related activities. Work: here will reside your applications for work, job finding, consulting and related topics. Home: This area may be separate or might combine with the money platform. It will control your house with various automation programs and controls. It will also host programs for home sales or rentals and related topics. Travel: this platform will handle the tasks associated with your personal and work travel. This will include air travel and ticketing, hotels, car rental, bus and train tickets, taxi and limo and related applications. Some people may prefer to merge this platform with their money or work platforms. Other: all other applications.

© Copyright 2014 by Ira Drillick. All rights reserved.

Trends in Cloud and Mobile Software Large repositories of medical data such as those maintained by Kaiser Permanente, Mayo Clinic, and various governmental units, will yield much improved outcome information about medical and surgical procedures. The monitoring of your vital signs will be a key factor in predicting and interceding to improve your health condition3. This is already underway with various wearable sensors that communicate via your cell phone. It will evolve quickly into a worldwide network of competing medical platforms, each striving to deliver more value. Health platforms will compete on how much they can improve your daily well-being and extend your life span. Evolution: How will these swirling clouds of software evolve? Today, the effectiveness of software applications is dependent on having a computer-readable mini universe to act within. An example is the multitude of travel booking applications. You can easily find various fare options because search engines are acting within a standardized and computer readable environment. There are uniform codes for each airport location, airline, flight, and fare category. A few other industries also have in place the required infrastructure. Books have ISBN numbers, many consumer products have bar codes. Stock and commodity markets have automated trading systems that are accessed through intermediary applications by both the public and professional traders and investors. Today, few other categories of human activity are standardized to this level, and most data is unstructured; this is holding back many useful applications. Advances in computer systems theory and algorithms are improving the ability of computers to deal with unstructured data. This includes semantic approaches like the IBM Watson system and the various computational approaches that are called “Big Data.” We will see all of these methods used to deliver new value in computer applications. Clever entrepreneurs are already coding up new markets,4 for example, in mobile advertising a number of companies have built automated ad purchasing systems. In transportation, Uber, Sidecar and others are building upon the smart phone platform, with its included location and mapping abilities, to summon taxis, limousines and private cars upon request. Major new applications will advance as more areas of human activity are coded for the computer. We can anticipate innovations in sensors, coding methods and new algorithms for analysis. Data Integration: A big issue in the mobile/cloud software space is the need to integrate end-user applications. We can gain insights from the current enterprise computing space. Some of the data integration methods used in enterprise computing can be applied to cloud and mobile computing.

3

Patients will subscribe to disease user groups in an even greater percentage than today. These groups will be much more powerful because they will compare personal health records in an anonymized fashion to yield actionable recommendations for improving health.
4

As we look at the various horizontal (cross-industry) innovations that are making the world computer readable, among the most important are: GPS, mapping and associated location services; barcoding and optical scanning; “The Internet of Things” using embedded logic and communications, RFID and other approaches; facial recognition, machine vision and other automated identification; human assisted tagging, such as Captcha and photo identification. It is “early days,” and additional coding methods will be invented or discovered.

© Copyright 2014 by Ira Drillick. All rights reserved.

Trends in Cloud and Mobile Software Large organizations often run hundreds or even thousands of applications, to cover all their business functions. Initially, sharing data between programs was difficult and was usually done with custom programming. This was expensive and time-consuming, so vendors started to offer data integration programs to translate information between specific programs. Today companies manage their entire accretion of software using master databases, integration software and an architectural approach called Service Oriented Architecture (SOA.) With SOA, programs can call other programs or services to gain access to data, or to perform specific functions. In the mobile world, certain smart phone capabilities are available to applications in a similar manner. The GPS, camera, address book and other primary functions on smart phones can be called as services by various applications. However different third-party applications cannot call each other as services on the smart phone. Nor in most cases can they do so on the web. There are exceptions, such Salesforce.com, whose platform has enabled data sharing and integration between thousands of different applications, including third-party applications. They do this by providing structured interfaces that developers can use to build or modify their applications. The platforms enable software integration in the SaaS environment, just as various integration software and their adapters enable products to work together in the conventional enterprise software environment. New software platforms will emerge to integrate data on smart phones. They will use automated queries to pull data from the various user applications resident on the smart phone. Application developers will add special interfaces to their applications to allow data to be passed to machine requests from the integration platform. This will allow computer agents to work continuously on the end-user's goals. A high level of data integration is essential to help mobile and cloud computing reach its full capability to improve our lives. Conclusion: Software companies are facing a time of ever more rapid change. Personal applications will become the primary use of smart phones. They will also be used for business, but the most important and valuable applications will be dedicated to the improvement, health and maintenance of our lives. Applications will proactively work to improve our health, our finances, our social interactions and to guide our travel, purchases and home maintenance. In each area, dominant platforms will emerge to store, organize and integrate our data. In the past, people who were privileged maintained staffs of specialists to organize, protect and improve their lives. These are skilled people such as butlers, maids, cooks, drivers, guards, doctors, gardeners, lawyers, and accountants. Some of these skills are already encoded into software and others will soon become apps. In the future, every individual and family will be able to set up a digital staff of computer applications, platforms and agents.

© Copyright 2014 by Ira Drillick. All rights reserved.