About 61% of adults in Europe use online personal cloud services to store their stuff, offering an opportunity for service providers to help build users' "digital self", according to a new report.
Forrester Research's latest report revealed that about 77% of online adults in the US use any one or more of these services.
The report also found that users could access and manage their digital information using any smartphone, tablet, PC, or web browser.
Forrester Research work VP and principal analyst Frank Gillett said that once digital self is stored in online services, it becomes possible for providers to serve with automated storage and advice.
"These providers do things like automatically uploading your digital photos, synchronising your contacts everywhere, and automatically assembling your expense report from photos, scans, or emails of receipts," Gillett said.
"Or even advising you on the right financial strategy or workout times based on your spending logs and work calendar."
Personal cloud tools for managing the digital self would evolve into a full ecosystem of services in three phases: initially satisfying simple user requirements, such as file sync; followed by financial management services; and then developed into curated ecosystems offering federated services.
The report also stressed that the battle would continue all through the following six years.
"Individuals will come to be defined as much by where they store their digital selves as what their nationality is," Gillett said.
"The big American Internet companies, major telcos, retailers, financial companies, and even some governments will compete to be the digital butler for the web of services that make up your digital self.
"Who you choose will define you and your choices will remake the power dynamics of the online world."