In recent months, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) has been widely debated. I personally got involved in various lectures and meetings with clients to discuss the topic. But I often observe that the magnitude of the impact of consumerization model and the consequent transformation of the paradigm of PC (Personal Computer) for Personal Cloud has not been adequately realized. We have to look beyond the BYOD. We must begin to visualize the concept of BYOC, or Bring Your Own Cloud.
Exit from the concept of My Documents to My Cloud has very significant implications in the way we think about and use computing. The personal cloud will transform (incidentally, is already transforming) our digital experience. A personal cloud is a combination of services and applications in which users store, synchronize and share content, regardless of platform, screen size and location. It is much broader than simply replacing the PC’s hard drive for storage in a cloud. A personal cloud will become the digital hub for the people, where it will hang all your devices and content. In my opinion, let’s create the vision of ubiquitous computing.
A direct consequence is a decrease of the importance of individual devices in exchange for increasing significance of the ecosystem, whose center of gravity is the cloud. Hence the wars for domination of the ecosystem and the cloud, where Apple iCloud and the devices are on one side and the systems based on Android and Google Drive on another. Thirdly, well behind on the grid, comes Microsoft with its Windows-based ecosystem.
With the growing adoption of personal cloud, I believe that in coming years we will eclipse the current model where we keep our content on our PCs in personal style that probably will be kept only in very specific cases. We already see much happening with services like DropBox, iCloud, eNlight Cloud Computing and dozens of others, winning millions of users. As these services are generating confidence, their adoption curve will tend to accelerate.
On the other hand, this opens up a whole new field for the creation of innovative applications, based on the concept of personal cloud and its implicit synchronization with any accessible device, be it a smartphone, tablet, laptop or TV.
The big challenge will be to adopt the concept of My Cloud in enterprises. It is increasingly difficult to separate our personal life from professional and as the cloud becomes the hub of our content, how to ignore this trend within corporations? One thing about DropBox is that, we can store our photos, music and videos of our vacation, but if anything happens, possible risk is ours. Another is to store content in these clouds that belong to companies for which we work.
As it is impossible to hold the tsunami that’s coming, enterprises should establish policies for the use of personal clouds, creating mechanisms separating personal and professional content, in the case of professional content, ensure they are encrypted. It is also possible to create mitigation policies that prevent, at least for now, the use of cloud as iCloud, DropBox and eNlight Cloud to store corporate information.
We know that it does not mean that the movement of consumerization is absolutely useless. Consumerization will always win. Therefore, IT must design strategies of coexistence, allowing at the same time, within companies to offer similar experiences that employees have at home, but with a level of security appropriate to their compliance requirements and corporate audit.
It is not a simple task, because it even changes the paradigm of domination and control that IT is accustomed to. Furthermore, there are a profusion of devices arriving every month. The pace of innovation is very rapid. Therefore, the policy must be pragmatic, defining acceptance criteria of personal devices and clouds, not getting stuck products or models of specific devices. Keep politics under constant updating and validation. Involve HR and legal areas in the process, because even in certain situations that are corporate information in personal clouds may be in foreign territory, which would go against some regulatory standards in certain business sectors.
In the end, it is important to keep in mind that we need to understand the concept of BYOD, we are already struggling as the BYOC. And then say that IT manager is not one of the most stressful jobs out there….