Blog Feed Post

What Can We Learn From Google Drive and DropBox?

Maribel Lopez is the CEO and mobile market strategist for Lopez Research, a market research and strategy consulting firm that specializes in communications technologies with a heavy emphasis on the disruptive nature of mobile technologies. AT&T has sponsored the following blog post.

Google’s announcement of its Drive service created a huge debate on the differences in consumer cloud storage.  We’ve seen a plethora of cloud offerings hit the market in including Amazon.com’s Cloud drive, Apple’s iCloud, DropBox, Google Drive and Microsoft’s SkyDrive.

While we could debate the merits of each solution for hours, this isn’t the point. The point is there has been a significant shift in thinking by leading consumer and enterprise vendors that cloud storage is now considered a critical part of any solution.  The shift in consumer services is really an indication of the shift in business services to come.

The cloud storage concept originated years ago in telecom domain, but came to fruition with companies like Box.com and DropBox.  The telecom industry discussed replicating the PC’s contents in the cloud and later created the concept of digital lockers.  It was an idea that was before its time.

The cost of storage was too high.  Broadband wired and wireless networks weren’t in place and a majority of the population was using a feature phone.

Today, each of those dynamics has changed and millions of consumers are using cloud storage.  However, it’s important to recognize what is different about today’s cloud services that have helped drive adoption.  First, today’s cloud services assume that the user will decide what content to replicate versus replicating your entire desktop.

Second, it assumes two-way synchronization where changes can be synced instantaneously to the same files on your other devices.  Third, it assumes a multi-device landscape that offers apps to support smartphones and tablets.  Fourth, it assumes content sharing across users.  This is probably the greatest difference since original systems weren’t conceived as platforms to share content across various users and companies.

Our employees are growing accustomed to personal clouds that provide easy access to information over multiple devices.  Our employees are accustomed to sharing documents and collaborating in a new way.  This sharing isn’t just Facebook or Twitter.  It’s a new way of storing and distributing documents, video and music.

Our challenge is to find ways to enable the same ease of sharing with security in our next generation collaboration tools.  Anyone that is evaluating the next generation of enterprise collaboration tools should take note of the differences between those solutions and the personal cloud solutions.

Why?  If the shiny new collaboration solution you’ve bought isn’t delivering functionality that is similar to products like DropBox, you’ll have invested significant financial resources in a solution with limited adoption.  Even if you force your employees to adopt the corporate solution, you’ll likely find that these employees will use the consumer-grade solutions when they feel it’s easier.

In many cases, cloud storage solutions are lacking some features IT would consider critical.  However, we’ve learned that cloud ease of use trumps features for end users.  What should you do?

First, find out what your employees are using today.  Next, accept that it will be difficult to stop the use of these services. You need to manage the risk of this activity by educating your employees on what content can and can’t be shared and stored in consumer grade services.

For example, certain industries have regulatory and compliance requirements for data storage and your employees may not be familiar with this.  Third, evaluate collaboration offerings with an eye toward ease of use and mobile readiness.

The market will continue to evolve rapidly and even products that started as consumer-grade, such as Box.com, are becoming more enterprise-ready.  You’ll need to evaluate the progress of the entire cloud storage landscape every three to six months to keep abreast of the latest trends.  Happy hunting!

What solutions are you using that were considering “only consumer grade” previously? What has been your experience? We look forward to your comments.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Steve Caniano

Steve Caniano is VP, Hosting, Application & Cloud Services at AT&T Business Solutions. As leader of AT&T's global Hosting, Application and Cloud infrastructure business, he is instrumental in forging key partner alliances and scaling AT&T's cloud services globally. He regularly collaborates with customers and represents AT&T at key industry events like Cloud Expo.

Latest Stories
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous ar...
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
"ZeroStack is a startup in Silicon Valley. We're solving a very interesting problem around bringing public cloud convenience with private cloud control for enterprises and mid-size companies," explained Kamesh Pemmaraju, VP of Product Management at ZeroStack, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. Thi...