Enterprise Cloud Storage and the Consumerization of IT

April 12, 2011 Off By Hoofer
Grazed from Cloud Storage Strategy.  Author: Steve Lesem.

There are multiple productive and desirable use cases for cloud storage for the enterprise.  This spans many use cases, including specialized applications that use programmable API cloud storage, file server replacement solutions, backup and archive solutions and what we call "Personal Cloud Storage."  (Personal Cloud Storage, or PCS, is the use of PC, tablet, mobile clients and web browsers by an individual to access a pool of storage.)  As opposed to a long discussion about all these, let’s focus for a moment on the phenomena of the "consumerization" of IT and what if really means in the context of enterprise IT, and specifically as it relates to PCs…

The enterprise continues to register significant concerns about using public, multi-tenant storage offerings, primarily because of the "triple threat" of risk:  unauthorized access, data loss, and the opportunity for enforced access by government institutions.  In addition to the triple threat, employees are beginning to expect the enterprise IT organization to be as responsive to their needs as they know public storage service providers can and will be.  This includes easy and immediate provisioning of whatever amount of storage is required, on a pay as you go basis, at a fair price, on all your devices, and what is now represented as the consumerization of IT.

So, what’s the appropriate response for the enterprise IT organization?  I believe there are three responses forming up:  

1)    We can’t stop it, so let’s publish acceptable usage policies and hope for the best;
2)    Just say no – you cannot do that – and then try to control it; and,
3)    Obtain an alternative that is better controlled and delivered by a trusted service provider as a "private" or "hybrid" cloud solution for your institutions use, and/or implement an in-house solution.

At Mezeo, we saw this coming and we strongly believe that the third option listed above is the appropriate response.  It recognizes the need for self service provisioning of required storage solutions along with multiple access points, but puts in place appropriate controls to avoid the triple threat.