Cloud // Infrastructure as a Service
Commentary
4/25/2012
09:51 AM
Chris Murphy
Chris Murphy
Commentary
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Google Drive Shows 'Bring Your Own Cloud' Has Arrived

I'm using two consumer cloud services, one enterprise cloud service, and two conventional software packages to get you this column. Am I insane, or is this just how everyone works?

Yesterday I interviewed Chris Yeh, VP of platform for Box, about the big news that Google has entered the cloud storage market with Google Drive. I took notes on my iPad using the Penultimate handwriting app, and when I was done, I backed the file up to Dropbox, another cloud storage rival.

To let my far-flung colleagues know I was writing this column, I posted a message to our Google Groups message board, an online app which lets staff writers and our dedicated freelancers see what everyone's working on.

Did I mention that we're a Microsoft collaboration software shop? So when I wanted to know if my colleagues David Carr or Eric Zeman had filed their articles yet (they're much faster than I am), I IM'd another editor using Microsoft Messenger, and he sent me their stories using Microsoft Entourage email (I'm on a Mac). I wrote this column in Word. To post to InformationWeek.com, I pasted the text into a Web-based content management system, TeamSite.

Are we insane? To get these 700 words to you, I used two consumer cloud services, one enterprise cloud service, and two on-premises enterprise software packages.

If we're crazy, by all means tell me. But I don't think we are, at least not about our software. I think if you went and talked with groups of office workers at your company, you'd hear similar stories of people piecing together enterprise and consumer software, both cloud and on premises, to get their jobs done.

[ Want more on how IT is changing? Read 15 New Rules For IT To Live By . ]

Let's be clear--I'm not complaining. I felt incredibly efficient using all of these tools, like I had what I needed at every turn. This is just the world of work today, a world that's fast moving from "bring your own device" to "bring your own cloud."

BYOC pressure will force IT to deal with cloud storage, whether it's Google Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive, Apple iCloud, Dropbox, Box, or some other variation. All these services let people save files of different types online, and they can be accessed from different devices and shared with other people. All of them offer some level of free storage, with additional storage and in some cases administrative controls for IT to use in a business environment for a price.

Yeh, the Box exec, thinks one of the make-or-break factors for business adoption of cloud storage will be which services build healthy developer communities and close ties with other software makers.

Remember that backup I did of my notes to Dropbox? I used Dropbox mostly because the Penultimate app has an integration with Dropbox. Box has similar links with a note-taking app PaperPort Notes (I haven't tried that one).

Yeh previously worked at Yahoo building developer communities around Yahoo products. And he points to Microsoft SharePoint as a model for enterprise software success based on a huge developer community, which has added a wealth of features around the SharePoint collaboration platform.

Yeh says the Box team isn't fretting Google's market entry -- it's "validation" of the market, he says. He characterizes Drive as more of an extension of Google Apps and concedes that companies highly focused on Google productivity apps will find Drive appealing.

But it's more likely employees want to share files built using a huge range of apps, and Box is positioning itself as the neutral player that knows how to give business IT what it needs. Yeh notes that the mobile app market has led to massive fragmentation--people using QuickOffice to work in Office documents, PDF Expert to mark up PDFs, and so on. "In a fragmented world, it's really helpful for us to take a platform-agnostic approach," he says.

Of the cloud storage vendors, Box may be the most devoted to the business IT market, but all the players will offer some enterprise controls. IT organizations have a lot of experience sifting through features and finding an option that works for the company. The key thing for IT to remember is that employees aren't going to wait for that process before they start pouring files into cloud storage. BYOC has begun, whether IT's involved or not.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
ipadtipz
50%
50%
ipadtipz,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/26/2012 | 10:50:55 PM
re: Google Drive Shows 'Bring Your Own Cloud' Has Arrived
Whether we like it or not our life is living in multiple clouds wherein our own computers are really clouds and so are Email and all of the public and private cloud drives. It is hard on a desktop but almost impossible to find anything in a hurry and take action on a document. To solve this problem we have created a new app called DocSync.Net which is available for free in App Store on iPad. We would like to get your feedback on it while we are adding lots of other features requested by some of the early users. Please try and give us some feedback.
OBACKUP 000
50%
50%
OBACKUP 000,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/15/2012 | 1:52:24 PM
re: Google Drive Shows 'Bring Your Own Cloud' Has Arrived
It's not crazy.....but it does seem like an inefficient way to work. I hope that there will be some streamlining of the work process. In my own work, I use dropbox, gmail, and iCloud. It gets confusing and sometimes reduced productivity.

Honestly though....Google Drive and Drop Box are nowhere near my favorite cloud services. I think some of the best are the lesser known companies like JustCloud, Mozy, SugarSync. I've actually reviewed them at my site..http://www.top10cloudstorage.com/clou...

Check it out if you have a minute!
Andrew Hornback
50%
50%
Andrew Hornback,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/2/2012 | 12:53:35 AM
re: Google Drive Shows 'Bring Your Own Cloud' Has Arrived
While many CIOs look the other way, I know of a few that are absolutely dead-set against it... of course, they're also the CIOs for large, publicly-traded organizations that have to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley.

Andrew Hornback
InformationWeek Contributor
Andrew Hornback
50%
50%
Andrew Hornback,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/2/2012 | 12:52:02 AM
re: Google Drive Shows 'Bring Your Own Cloud' Has Arrived
What kind of safeguards does Accellion use with regards to data that is in transit to/from their cloud? I'm curious...

Andrew Hornback
InformationWeek Contributor
YMOM100
50%
50%
YMOM100,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/28/2012 | 10:42:15 AM
re: Google Drive Shows 'Bring Your Own Cloud' Has Arrived
Not crazy as you chose to use the tools that get your job done. Then again, quite a bit crazy as you rely on cloud services to get your professional work done. Sure, it is fine for quickly exchanging a note or such, but beyond that I still have severe doubts. Any other day one or more cloud services are reported as having outages, cloud services get shut off, usage terms change, and you never know where your files really are and who is poking around in them.
At least make sure you have a plan B. And 'B' does not stand for backup, that should be an important part of plan A.
pcalento011
50%
50%
pcalento011,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/26/2012 | 8:44:41 PM
re: Google Drive Shows 'Bring Your Own Cloud' Has Arrived
Personal cloud storage (what you're calling bring-your-own-cloud) is a challenge that many CIOs look the other way on today. But isn't the key is to have an approved, enterprise security-friendly approach in place so "Shadow IT" (or pragmatic business practices) doesn't need to step in an fill the void. --Paul Calento http://bit.ly/paul_calento
JanineKSF
50%
50%
JanineKSF,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/25/2012 | 7:44:18 PM
re: Google Drive Shows 'Bring Your Own Cloud' Has Arrived
This idea of BYOC - says it all. Where to store and sync files is confusing for people and will now be dispersed over iCloud, SkyDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc. For businesses that care about protecting intellectual property, financial documents, patient data, and managing where sensitive data goes, Accellion is the solution (yes, I work there). It has all the ease of use and productivity of these solutions, but also a private cloud deployment option. With Accellion, your data doesn't get replicated in a public cloud and it's not subject to the whims of a privacy policy.
Multicloud Infrastructure & Application Management
Multicloud Infrastructure & Application Management
Enterprise cloud adoption has evolved to the point where hybrid public/private cloud designs and use of multiple providers is common. Who among us has mastered provisioning resources in different clouds; allocating the right resources to each application; assigning applications to the "best" cloud provider based on performance or reliability requirements.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Nov. 10, 2014
Just 30% of respondents to our new survey say their companies are very or extremely effective at identifying critical data and analyzing it to make decisions, down from 42% in 2013. What gives?
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of November 16, 2014.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.