Trends for 2011 Part 5: Cloud Computing

Cloud computing, where information is stored on remote servers rather than local PCs, is set to come into its own in 2011. 'The enhancement we have seen recently is the processing power,' says 33 Digital's Benvie. 'They are as big as the biggest computer in the world. We're going to be able to search through all the work saved on the cloud with a keyword and it will be as quick as a web search.'

A PR trend: Cloud Computing
A PR trend: Cloud Computing

This power means PR professionals will be able to work anywhere from their laptops or mobiles. 'It's going to free everyone up,' predicts Benvie. This new freedom also means working hubs, such as TechHub, based in Old Street, will flourish.

'These hubs have the kind of facilities you don't have in your house and are for the type of workers who can access their cloud but want to work in a hub environment,' says Benvie.

There are implications for international working, with cloud-based technology allowing efficient ways of working across the globe. And Lansons' Langham points out that, with this kind of technology, new exciting companies would be able to emerge more quickly than ever. 'It is fascinating for the fragmentation of markets,' he notes. 'Looking back to paywalls, this is arguably where newspapers are most threatened. If they retreat behind paywalls, it's going to be easier for bloggers to turn their businesses into commercial ventures.'

Bell Pottinger's Read adds that larger companies will also reap the benefits: 'For an organisation with 20-30,000 people working globally cloud computing is fantastic, as you don't need expensive hardware and software, and an IT department of 1,000. The implication for employee comms, where the employer facilitates that with kit and freedom, and new ways of working, is just around the corner and is an amazing change.'

Click here to see Cathy Bussey, features editor of PRWeek ask a panel of experts what they think are the key trends for 2011.

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