Bringing the Cloud to Work

In a recent presentation I was delivering, I asked the question of those in the audience; “How many of you walked into this room with a personal computer in your pocket?” About half the audience raised their hands.

I then asked how many in the room had a smartphone in their pocket?  Almost everyone raised their hand.

I then explained how every one of these smartphones that almost everyone was carrying was in fact a personal computer in their pocket.

Why is this relevant? With these smartphone devices we are not only carrying a personal computer into work with us everyday, most of us are also bringing our own personal cloud to work with us as well.

What’s that? Bringing a ‘personal cloud’ to work with you? Not me, you say.

Oh yes, you!

At the end of the day, yes, these smartphones are mini-PC’s, but the reality is that these devices are also presentation layers for data, or applications, that have to sit somewhere – and my bet is most of that data that is being presented sits, well , in the cloud!

GMail – the cloud!

Dropbox – the cloud!

AT&T Navigator – the cloud!

So how can we take that comfort that employees have with their ‘personal cloud’ and transition that into making their daily lives easier with work tasks? Let’s look at something as simple as cloud storage and how that can make someone more efficient.

You are at the office, working on that big sales presentation. You make the final changes and hit save. Automatically that document is synced to a cloud storage provider without any interaction from you. It just works!

The next morning you jump on a plane to head to the sales meeting. While on the plane you connect to the in-flight WiFi from your smartphone. You fire up an App on your smartphone that connects you to your cloud storage environment and you take a last review of your presentation. The flight lands and you jump in the rental car to head to the customer meeting.

After arriving at the customer location you realize that you left your laptop charger at home and that your laptop is not working. Oh by the way, you are the only one with a copy of the customer presentation.

But wait, you can get to the cloud from your smartphone! So you login, select the file for the presentation and email it to a co-worker to present from their laptop. Problem solved.

That’s the power of the cloud.

So every day when I go to the office, I am bringing the cloud with me. This is part of the idea of ‘the consumerization of IT’. If employees use applications from a personal perspective, and it’s easier than what’s provided to them at work, then what are they going to default to?

So, what ways are you using the cloud today? Are you walking into work with the cloud?

I know I am!

More on the Cloud:

Joey Widener on how the Cloud is natural

How the Cloud can benefit your organization

The Networking Exchange Blog Team About NEB Team