At last night’s Mobile Monday event, more than a hundred professionals gathered in the Hub at the Cira Centre to learn about the rise of the “personal cloud.”
Never heard of the personal cloud? Don’t worry, neither did keynote speaker and appRenaissance CEO Bob Moul until this past weekend, which he said he spent becoming an expert on the topic.
The buzzy term, which uses the word “personal” to distinguish itself from the “enterprise cloud,” refers to services like Dropbox, Google Docs and email. It’s on the rise, Moul said, quoting Forrester Research: with more than 100 million people using personal cloud services (not including those who use email), Forrester says the personal cloud will replace the PC by 2014 and earn $6 billion in direct revenue by 2016.
With an audience mostly filled with men in suits and catering from a Jose Garces restaurant, Mobile Monday, which co-organizer Rick Rasansky says holds six to seven events a year, feels like the monthly Philly Tech Meetup‘s more buttoned-up big brother.
Mobile Monday Mid-Atlantic, the local arm of the national group which was started in Philly in 2007, is the seventh largest networking group in the region with more than 2,000 members, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal, announced President and Chair Chuck Sacco.
Below, find our takeaways from the panel discussion:
- The personal cloud is all about doing things on your own terms â€“ completing tasks when you want to, where you want to. Comcast Interactive CTO Jason Press said customers want to use Comcast’s services “on their own terms,” and that’s what’s driving early adoption. One of Comcast’s main personal cloud services is Xfinity Home, which can control and monitor your home. Similarly, Neat Company‘s Chief Marketing Officer Kevin Garton said his company’s product NeatMobile allowed him to run errands on the go: he could use it to submit an expense report from the plane or send his daughter’s birth certificate to a soccer coach with his phone.
- Barriers to entry include privacy and security concerns, and sometimes, simply not knowing a password. Press said that 30 to 40 percent of Comcast customers don’t know their login information so they don’t take advantage of Comcast’s personal cloud services. It’s too much hassle to call customer service and find that login information, he said. Ken Russo, mobile director of Independence Blue Cross, says he finds that customers are wary of using IBX’s cloud services because of who might get a hold of their health information and one day use it against them.