18 Aug 2014 05:26pm

Sponsor’s comment: The post-PC era

The first generations of PC-based business software were, without question, truly revolutionary when they emerged in the early 1980s. However, even though they were a necessary evolutionary step, with a far-reaching impact back then, it’s only now, in the hyper-connected post-PC era, that we can see quite how simplistic they actually were

Out of nowhere, in the last ten years have seen a new generation of cloud-based software sparked into life. It’s an entirely new way of conceiving of and deploying technology in both business and in practice, and the cloud’s meteoric pace of adoption certainly shows no signs of abating.

It’s not that hard to work out why if you look at the comparative market size data. Unit sales of PCs for most of the ten years after the birth of the IBM PC in 1981 numbered in the hundreds of thousands per annum. That’s pretty pedestrian by today’s standards where an estimated two million smartphone and tablet devices are activated every single day. In 1999, barely five years into the modern web era, the then sizeable population of 200 million people globally connected to the web is dwarfed today by the three billion people projected to be online by the end of this year.

Indeed, as this newfound capacity to effortlessly consume cloud technology far exceeds our ability to consume PC software, there’s now clear evidence of cloud having permeated even the accounting profession – there’s now almost 3,000 UK accounting firms and over 300,000 businesses globally having adopted Xero’s online accounting platform.

And while we certainly couldn’t have got this far without the PC generation, now that we’re here it’s clear that an entirely new world of possibility awaits both the business and practitioner communities in the cloud.

Gary Turner is Xero managing director