OPINION: Are DVDs and flash disks on the way to obsoleteness?

Looking back down memory lane, you cannot fail to see how all ‘animals’ in the ICT world turn out to be grazers in the food chain, and how come no specific species is immune to extinction. Unlike other sectors where innovation is driven by demand, the ICT world seems to be driven more by supply.

Reviewing the latest releases in the technology world, I realise they never appeared on my priority list of items I needed to acquire until they were unveiled. Sitting at ArtCaffe with my laptop, I appear to be from another generation with everyone holding a tablet.

And just like in any war, there must be collateral damage. In the case of the release of cheaper mobile handsets, this led to the untimely death of the pager and telegrams in the third world. The PlayStation turned to be game boy’s predator, just like the CD devoured the cassette.

In this web chain, one thing is for sure, there is no complete list of the animals in the food web. Some of the former predators have also been consumed. Take the case of the walkman being consumed by the CD player that was in turn eaten by the iPod and MP3 players and so on.

I am hence trying to prophesy doom for small data storage devices such as the DVD and flash disks.

My pessimism on the future of these two ‘animals’ has largely been informed by the exponential uptake of cloud computing.

Even with the fear of looking like a nitwit, I will say I searched for the uses of flash disks and DVD in the internet in the year 2012AD.

My research was mainly motivated to see what of the electrical equipment had a strength that could give it a last kick. In my research, the uses revolved just around storage in whatever way it was put in grammar.

My research then took me to the future of storage. In my analysis, the word virtual storage resounded prominently indicating the globalization of storage in the last few months. A few months ago very little was understood about cloud computing even by IT specialists.

Currently, the name cloud is perhaps the most used in describing storage in the industry with all new devices and software focusing on the cloud even as companies try and cut down from buying infrastructure that can be shared.

Looking at some of the new releases in the mobile market, a few features stand out: touch, battery life, storage and broadband access.

This means that all the functionalities of the flash drives and DVDs can be left to new storage devices like mobile phone handsets, portable hard drives that have larger storage or simply why bother carrying any of these, in a virtual storage the ‘cloud.’

With cyber security on at the top of the agenda, more secure virtual data is likely to receive more attention.

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