Networking and internet technologies are improving. And 5G is set to change the way we understand “Internet speed” with radically faster speeds and global, low-latency connections. So what will the future look like? How will cloud technology transform the way we operate in the world?
- Limitless compute resources at your fingertips.
Think your smartphone is powerful? Wait till it can leverage the computing power of a thousand servers. We already leverage computing resources much larger than our smartphone’s when we process our images/videos online. But imagine what will change with the new 5G Internet speeds. Games that would otherwise require a much powerful processor than your smartphone’s will be able to get all the computing power they need from the cloud. At low latency, of course. Gaming would finally be free from much of its hardware limitations.
2. Scalable, elastic storage capacity.
As cloud technology improves and the Internet connectivity becomes more reliable, we’ll eventually seek to abandon the need to carry hard drives and other storage devices in our phones (or whatever devices we would be using in the future). In phones, that would mean space for a bigger battery. Much of the storage space on our phones is not utilized anyway. Even today, how much storage do we actually use on our smartphones? I, for instance, am using 48 GB out of the maximum 128 GB. The rest is just there, waiting. It does make sense to opt for an elastic storage that scales automatically to add/remove Gigabytes as necessary. Not only will smartphone storage be affected, but storage devices in general will see a sharp decline in sales among the general public. That includes pen-drives, external hard disk drives, CD/DVDs, microSD cards etc.
3. Frequency of data breaches would go down.
As of now, many small companies/businesses are managing their own IT infrastructure. And many of these companies aren’t doing their best to keep up with the latest security best-practices. They’re sometimes unwilling to invest in security. And other times they do not have the resources to buy better, updated hardware and/or hire cybersecurity professionals to run a thorough, regular check. As a result, we often hear news of companies being hit by cyberattacks, ransomware attacks and massive data breaches. Cloud, however, has the capability to offer world-class infrastructure and services with just a monthly payment. It also takes a significant load off the company’s shoulders when it comes to security and hardware by adopting a “shared responsibility model” where the cloud provider is responsible for “security of the cloud” while the user is responsible for “security in the cloud”. While cloud misconfiguration can lead to data breaches, we can expect the frequency of these breaches to go down once cloud adoption increases.
4. Software engineering would no longer be constrained by hardware/cost limitations.
As cloud-native application development gains traction, we will find an increasing number of applications that aren’t limited by the hardware they’re running on. It will free software engineers and developers from one of the oldest constraints: hardware. And it will free small companies from their greatest challenge: cost. Cloud provides an affordable way to scale your applications. A serverless architecture would also mean less operational costs of the business applications. With 5G Internet speeds, our interactions with the applications would be much faster with unnoticeable latency.
These are some of the points I could think of. Of course, the true potential of cloud + 5G remains to be seen. But there is no doubt that this “dynamic duo” is going to have a lasting impact on not only the software industry but also on the world.