BYOC--not another acronym!
Just when you thought you had all of the acronyms down--BYOD, COPE, CYOD, MDM, MAM--here comes another one: bring your own cloud.
Concerned about the security of personal cloud services, such as Dropbox, IT departments have tried to block their use altogether. However, employees who want access to content in the cloud regardless of the device they use have so far been good at finding ways around IT's efforts to stop them.
In fact, whole business units have bypassed IT and purchased cloud services on their own--unbeknownst to IT--a phenomenon known as shadow IT. According to a survey conducted last year by PricewaterhouseCoopers, 47 percent of IT managers said that at least half of their corporate IT spending was for shadow IT services.
Vendors have jumped into the fray and begun offering "personal cloud" services for the enterprise, noted a report by eWeek. For example, cloud storage provider WD last week introduced My Cloud, which offers a mobile app that enables employees to securely access files and stream video on their iOS or Android smartphones and tablets. The app integrates with public cloud services so users can transfer files between their Dropbox, SkyDrive and Google Drive accounts.
Other vendors, such as Buffalo, LaCie and Synology have also recently released cloud products designed for the small and medium-sized business market. The products provide terabytes of data storage with enterprise-grade security features and power to stream high-definition content to multiple devices at the same time, the report noted.
So, it's time for IT to stop trying to block employees from using personal cloud services and instead find solutions that enable employees to use the cloud storage services they find most productive while ensuring that corporate data is secure.
As Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg observed in a Computerworld article: "IT has to deal not only with bring-your-own devices but bring-your-own services….If it's digital and it's consumer, it's going to find its way into the office. People will come up with reasons for using it."