Friday, 4 November 2011

Cloud Apathy

Another day, another Cloud survey. The one thing that is consistent about the results of these surveys is that the results are inconsistent.

This time CRN did a survey of 500 IT managers and C-level executives and only 3.5% were actually really worried by the threats posed by BYOD (bring your own device) on the corporate network. Further, the general move toward Cloud was seen not that key with only a total of 30% or respondents rating it 4 or higher out of 5.

This may be an accurate reflection of the UK. It's fair to say that most executives don't really see the blooming of smartphones and tablets on their network as an issue as the main thought is that these devices are used for phoning, photos and social stuff. What is stored on them of harm to the company?

Erm, the email access is of one concern. Most have at least webmail access which mercifully is password protected. But file downloads to GoDocs, GoToDocs and Dropbox to name a few as well as iCloud are set up on these machines as always on. It means that as long as you can swipe to get into a tablet or phone, you may have access to Cloud based information that is sensitive to the company, particularly if that person has been running projects using shared folders on things like Dropbox or

The reality is that executives should be concerned about this apparently benign growth in corporate rebellion.

As for Cloud apathy, speaking to some technical staff only yesterday, it's hard when internal IT managers and technical people basically warn against Cloud adoption. Some warn of mass data wipeouts at places like Dropbox as a potential but I have lost more on corporate networks than I ever have done in the Cloud. Of course, some see Cloud as a threat to their jobs.

Few really understand that in order to be in business these days, you have to be connected and active in the Cloud. This could be simple use of marketing tools, to ecommerce engines for sales transactions, websites, extranets, social media use, virtual help desks, virtual PBXs, talent management systems, HR systems, disaster recovery - the list is long. These are standard tools of the Cloud and are staples in many businesses. 

The Cloud is used more widely than most executives think as most actually think that the Cloud is only what you see on the web. As a famous Irish lock forward said when staring at the vastness of the southern oceans from Invercargill and responding to Gordon Brown saying, 'Look at all that water', he said, 'Aye, and that's just the top of it.'

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