What “end of local storage” means for CAD?


We are in the beginning of the year. Happy New Year! The entire internet and blogosphere is full of "recap 2013" and "future trends in 2014" articles. I was skimming some of these articles on my late afternoon flight to Europe. The article 7 Huge Tech Trends to Expect in 2014 caught my attention. Specifically I was interested by the prediction of cloud wars and the expected end of local storage. Here is the passage I captured:

You’ll hear a stronger desktop PC death rattle in 2014, as consumers finally embrace cloud storage. Consequently, they’ll soon need a lot more than the 5-20 GB standard with most mobile services. Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Google will get serious about marketing and advertising consumer cloud storage, access and work options. They’ll also compete more directly, which may result in a price-per-gigabyte war.

In 2014, cloud storage producers will conduct an education, pricing and marketing offensive. By the end of next year, external hard drive sales will decline and cloud storage adoption will have skyrocketed.

It made me think back to one of my posts from 2011 – The future of CAD without files. So, slowly, but surely we are coming to the place where local storage becomes irrelevant and accessibility of data becomes an imperative. I can hear now lots of people saying it is related to consumer place and speed of access combined with security concern will play a differentiation to what engineers are looking for. I agree, for many people it is still make sense and they will be concerned. However, for many of smaller companies, it might be irrelevant. Also, immersivity of "save to the cloud" storage option can play some role too. This trend can play an advantage to some specialized CAD sharing services.

What is my conclusion? It will start from the moment of time you first time think to prefer "save to the cloud" instead of buying next USB drive from Amazon or placing IT request to increase your storage on physical server. Vendors need to take a note, since moving files to the cloud will provide a significant advantage in developing of future collaborative environments. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

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