- The consumer cloud
- Who owns the data?
- Keeper of the keys
- A snapshot of secure services
- What to look for
In perhaps the most comprehensive roundup on the net, we take a look at cloud storage services for personal and business use from the perspective of the CIO: what they offer, what's important and what to look for.
The consumer cloud
The ubiquity of cloud services combined with the consumerisation of technology in the workplace is creating interesting challenges for CIOs. Where once storage was internal and hardware was a factor of your IT infrastructure, today's workplace landscape is becoming a very different silicon beast.
Increasingly, everything from hosting to email and office productivity is being outsourced to cloud services placing business data, intelligence and intellectual property in the hands of others. The trade-off is usually efficiency and cost, but it's not just the enterprise that's taking advantage of cloud services: employees are doing it too. Sometimes for personal use, sometimes for business, often both.
This is in part enabled by both the ease of access to such services (most all have 'free' accounts making a very small barrier to entry) and the prevalence of consumer devices in the workplace: smartphones, tablets and laptops. Where once it may have been an option for IT policy to prohibit or limit these devices, this is no longer realistic— today, these are the tools through we which we conduct business.
As a result, policy has to move with the times and adapt, so when it comes to employees uploading business data to third-party cloud storage services—simply as part of the natural order of doing business with clients, contractors, freelancers or other staff—how can you be sure which services are 'safe'?
We asked this same question and scoured the net to put together our comprehensive guide covering most cloud storage services currently available. But first, let us define the problem.