I don’t read much about this subject, and to be honest, was not even aware of the topic, but several articles point to the growing issue of the personal cloud becoming a new expectation of employees that provides easy access, and a usable, easy-to-use interface from any device, either on business hours or not. What this means is that BYOD is thrown into chaos and the BYOD bashers in response are growing. I suppose banning BYOD is one solution to the dilemma, albeit a little too late. The growth of the personal cloud and Shadow IT illustrates a move to a more device agnostic approach where employees are able to use and access their own cloud from any device in their daily work environment. They expect the use of their laptops, pads, wearables, phones, and applications will all work and perform identically regardless of device.
So what is the personal cloud? Gartner research vice president Stephen Kleynhans described the personal cloud as a “collection of content, services and tools that users assemble to fulfill their personal digital lifestyle needs across any device,” in a statement. “Each user’s personal cloud is unique and evolving, as the user’s daily needs change and as vendors and products come and go.”
Two trends are shaping the personal cloud experience, Gartner asserts. Specifically, increased access to “the rate of change is accelerating as new technologies like Windows 10, ubiquitous sensors, wearables and smart machines alter the landscape and further blur the lines between consumer and enterprise computing,” Kleynhans continued. “Consequently, enterprises are starting to pay heed and take action. By 2018, 25 percent of large organizations will have an explicit strategy to make their corporate computing environment similar to a consumer computing experience,” Kleynhans stated.
Studies have shown that employees who consume personal cloud services at home expect the same from their business IT environment. For use of Shadow IT, banning such applications will have a negative impact on productivity. End users will always find a work around, regardless if it is approved by IT or not. The downside is increased security risk, lack of control of information, and a loss of enterprise ownership of information assets. For the CIO, there is a need to rethink application and service delivery – not an easy decision. Do you lock down every device or embrace a people centric computing strategy as the foundation of their application and service delivery?
The small problem will only grow larger. According to Steve Hughes, cloud specialist at Colt, ‘With the technology tides turning, we’re firmly in the ‘post-PC’ era. The fact is, ‘BYO’ is no longer just a trend, it’s inevitable – nearly a third of the global workforce use three or more devices, work from multiple locations and use many applications, and this is only set to increase, especially with the growth of wearable technology and the Internet of Things on the horizon.’