This section will review recent publications regarding the future of the internet and evaluate the possible internet roadmap up to 2020 in terms of the impact on social media community groups. The following areas will be covered:
- Cloud Computing
- Devices and the drive for mobility
- Internet of things
- Data Security and use
- Data is king:
- More intelligent use of data
- Web 3.0 – the Semantic web.
Cloud Computing, Devices and the Drive for mobility
In a recent document produced by the Pew Research Centre (PRC) it was stated that by 2020 most work would be done in the cloud (on the internet) and not on the desktop (PRC, 2011). This is the culmination of O’Reilly’s prediction in 2005 (O’Reilly, 2005) that the internet would become a platform. Cloud computing is defined as (PRC, 2011): “the act of storing, accessing, and sharing data, applications, and computing power in cyberspace.”
The figure below provides an overview of the scope of cloud computing. In combination with the drive for mobility where the same applications are available via a range of devices, desktop, laptop, smartphones and tablets, the use of the cloud will enable the documents to be stored centrally and accessed by any of the devices we wish to. It is generally accepted that the use of SaaS applications increases the use of the cloud will become easier to transition to. Cloud computing is here today; however it has not become mainstream. Microsoft recently announced their intention to stop producing Microsoft office products to download and install to the desktop, instead the same products will be available to rent over the cloud. This will bring greater flexibility to the way community groups can access their data (PRC, 2011). Cloud computing also has an environmental advantage as the servers can be configured to perform at a higher performance level which utilises the hardware more and is more efficient on resources (PRC, 2011).
The Internet of Things
Ashton (2009) defined the phrase internet of things in 1999 and the definition relates to machines being connected to the internet and being able to capture and send data via radio frequency identification. This is interesting from a variety of different industry perspectives from retail through to waste and the related supply chains. It also has big implications on concepts such as the Circular Economy.
Data Security and Data is King
These terms have been discussed at various Web 2.0 conventions over the past years and O’Reilly (2010) and Bradley (2010) have both defined data as being the key driver to both technological and business development within the internet. As people are online more often there is a larger data footprint and the large players such as Apple, Microsoft and Google are all keen to leverage the use of customer data to provide a better service by estimating what the user wants to view, thereby improving the experience.