Consumer vs Business Cloud

Blog Author: Aaron Smith | June 3rd, 2013

Line up at any airport security checkpoint and for certain you will see the following; consumers in an orderly and practiced manner reaching for blue tubs to transport their belongings through the security scanner.  Keys, wallets, watches, shoes and belts are all offered up to the guards for inspection but above all else, a multitude of devices hits those tubs day in and day out.

Most users these days have more than one device, it’s tipped that by the end of 2013 there will be more devices than people on the planet!

We’re a connected society.  But with multiple devices comes one of the most basic issues for consumers; anywhere access to their data.  Cloud storage offers a simple solution to this problem.  If files are stored in the Cloud and secured by username and password credentials, then in theory they can be accessed from multiple devices for access from anywhere.

Apple’s iCloud is a great example of Cloud Storage.  Anyone with both an iPhone and an iPad will know that with iCloud, photos taken on one device will magically be available on the other once the data has synced.  Cloud storage providers such as box.net and Dropbox are also good examples.

SkyDrive is another tool for individuals who are looking for Cloud Storage.  It offers free file storage and access for Windows, Mac, Web and Remote Access.  You can access files on the go from your iPhone and iPad, Windows Phone, Android and Mobile Web Apps.  It enables you to share files with others and showcase photos with online slide shows and the ability to email slide shows or post your pictures to Facebook and Twitter.

You also get free Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote in your browser with SkyDrive and free Office Web Apps.

While these sorts of free consumer Cloud offerings are great for individuals, from the viewpoint of integrating them into a business environment we would suggest that procedures need to be put in place around where company data is stored and who can have access to it.  Consider a bunch of files living in an employee’s personal SkyDrive or Dropbox account and then that employee decides to take up a position with a competitor. The impact of this sort of data loss needs to be weighted.

Another issue for businesses when it comes to incorporating diverse platforms such as various Cloud storage options is that it can isolate users, reduce their capacity and create diverse user experiences across the organisation, reducing efficiency.

Cloud storage such SkyDrive Pro, which is a library managed by the organisation as opposed to an individual’s library, would be a better option for a business.  In conjunction with SharePoint, it enables users to share and collaborate on content with co-workers.

If companies are looking for Cloud storage for Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity, a more robust and dedicated service would offer a better solution over consumer type offerings.

In summary, individuals have some great options available for storing their data in the Cloud, enabling anywhere access as well as a backup of pictures and important files.  For businesses looking to explore Cloud storage options, there are far better solutions available.  Talk to us today to find out more.

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