Seven Hidden Truths About Personal Clouds

Seven Hidden Truths About Personal Clouds

Seven Hidden Truths About Personal Clouds 

Increasingly, people are discovering the joy of using personal clouds for a wide range of tasks, such as photo and video sharing, mobile backup, anytime music and project collaboration. Consequently as their popularity increases, people’s skepticism about worrisome aspects, such as privacy, security and reliability, is starting to ebb and growing desire and expectation for anytime access of personal content is trumping concerns.

This article highlights some key potential gotchas that personal cloud providers prefer users don’t know, but, being aware of these is essential as it helps adopters gain the most from personal clouds while avoiding potential pitfalls.

#1: The service is free (except when it isn’t). Every personal cloud service offers free sign up, but the catch is the ‘freemium’ model that relies on users upgrading to a paid service or mining user data for advertising. So even though a service appears free, there is no such thing as a free cloud.

#2: We don’t care about your data (we want your $). Although personal clouds tout their many benefits, they are really offered to sell people things such as more storage, devices, mobile data and content. Or they are offered to reduce switching because your data is in their cloud. This is a modern version of the strategy of giving the razor away for free in order to sell the blades i.e. the aforementioned stuff. Don’t be fooled, keep a close tab on your wallet.

#3: Trust us, your data is safe & secure (unless it isn’t). A personal cloud service accessible by the public has a good chance of being hacked, even with stringent safeguards. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies can legally search cloud information, depending on location and circumstance. You should still not put anything online that you don’t want Uncle Sam or other unknown relatives to access.

#4: We are 100% reliable (except when we’re not). There have been numerous outages and incidents affecting personal clouds, resulting in data loss, despite best efforts to avoid this. It is too costly to 100% guarantee that all data will be available forever. The chances may be slim that you will lose data sometime, but if you really want to be careful, maintain an off-cloud version of important stuff. It’s like dentists say, you don’t need to floss all your teeth, only the ones you want to keep.

#5: Get a lot of storage for cheap (that you probably won’t use). Most personal clouds offer a nominal amount of free storage and a lot more storage for a modest fee. How do they do this without going broke? Is it economies of scale, storing data on low cost media, compression or storing a single copy of commercial content such as movies and songs? The answer is yes , but it’s also a numbers game. Services are based on the premise that a high percentage of purchased storage is never used. When you run out of free storage and upgrade for more, it takes time to fill it up, which for most people, never occurs, for many reasons. When this happens, you are actually paying for free storage for other people.

#6: Having a bad cloud day? (Good luck getting help). How many personal cloud services offer phone support? OK, stop laughing. If zero popped into mind, that would be about right. Many services offer online support, which may be ok for techies. If you are non-technical, you should befriend a techie or there is safety in numbers i.e. stick to popular services because if millions use something, it must work.

#7: We’re not mining your data (but we might tomorrow). Popular personal cloud services are legit, with privacy policies that prevent data from being mined without consent. That’s fine until they change. They can publish a revised policy with fine print that may relax privacy restrictions. How many people read the fine print? About the same as the number of providers offering phone support. So while, you enjoy the convenience of your personal cloud, treat confidential data with utmost care, by keeping it off-cloud.

In sum, these seven hidden truths may cause you to pause before using personal clouds. That wasn’t the intent of this article; it was to make people aware, so they know how far they can rely on personal clouds. As a final word of advice, personal clouds are here to stay; it’s best to make them your ally, which you can do by being aware of potential gotchas.

By Hal Steger,

hal-imageHal Steger is Vice President of Worldwide Marketing and Business Development at Funambol. He has more than 20 years of marketing and business development experience. Steger co-founded and was VP Marketing of Rubric, where he positioned the company as the leader of the new category of Marketing Automation solutions. Rubric was acquired for $370M. Prior to Rubric, Hal held product management and product marketing positions at Oracle, Uniface/Compuware, and other high profile Silicon Valley companies. He holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan with a double major in Computer Science and Economics, and an M.S.I.A. (MBA) degree from Carnegie-Mellon’s Tepper School of Business (formerly GSIA).

About CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading authorities in connected technology information and services.

We embrace and instill thought leadership insights, relevant and timely news related stories, unbiased benchmark reporting as well as offer green/cleantech learning and consultive services around the world.

Our vision is to create awareness and to help find innovative ways to connect our planet in a positive eco-friendly manner.

In the meantime, you may connect with CloudTweaks by following and sharing our resources.

View All Articles

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Are You Sure You Are Ready For The Cloud? SDI

Are You Sure You Are Ready For The Cloud? SDI

Software Defined Infrastructure Well, we have come full circle with this string of subjects; about making sure you are ready for the cloud. We have talked security, storage, access, connectivity and feasibility to name a few. Now, lets discuss SDI. What is SDI? It simply stands for “Software Defined Infrastructure”. Many people have their own…

5 Things Today’s Businesses Couldn’t Do Without The Cloud

5 Things Today’s Businesses Couldn’t Do Without The Cloud

5 Things Today’s Businesses Couldn’t Do Without The Cloud We take a look at how the cloud has changed business for the better. Businesses have been given new and exciting opportunities thanks to the Cloud. Here are five things that wouldn’t be possible for businesses without it. Cloud-based services and platforms, often referred to as ‘cloudware’,…

Big Data – Productivity, Innovation And Competitiveness

Big Data – Productivity, Innovation And Competitiveness

Big Data – Productivity, Innovation And Competitiveness Big Data Analytics Big data refers to datasets that are so large, diverse, and fast-changing which need advanced and unique storage, management, analysis, and visualization technologies.  According to McKinsey, Big Data is “the next frontier for innovation, competition and productivity”.  The right use of Big Data can increase productivity,…

Who’s Ready For The Cloud, And Can Deliver!

Who’s Ready For The Cloud, And Can Deliver!

Cloud Ready In my article last month, I discussed how the managed service provider (MSP) industry has been continuously urged to embrace the cloud, but in the end, could they? I answered the questions by describing several impediments and challenges that I believe are preventing MSPs from generating significant revenue and successfully fulfilling their client’s…

Methodically Plan Your Cloud Design First

Methodically Plan Your Cloud Design First

Are You Sure You Are Ready For The Cloud: Design For the last few months, we have been discussing getting ready to go to the cloud. We have covered topics such as Financial and Business Security reasons. We have even discussed the type of knowledge you should obtain. This month, we are going to take…

How To Use Big Data And Analytics To Help Consumers

How To Use Big Data And Analytics To Help Consumers

Big Data Analytics Businesses are under increasing pressure to develop data-driven solutions. The competitive advantage gained by a successful strategy can be immense. It can create new opportunities and help businesses to react to different scenarios or sudden changes in the market. But innovation and resilience are not easily achieved, and organizations always face difficult…

Are Cloud Solutions Secure Enough Out-of-the-box?

Are Cloud Solutions Secure Enough Out-of-the-box?

Out-of-the-box Cloud Solutions Although people may argue that data is not safe in the Cloud because using cloud infrastructure requires trusting another party to look after mission critical data, cloud services actually are more secure than legacy systems. In fact, a recent study on the state of cloud security in the enterprise market revealed that…

CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, infosec, big data and the internet of things (IoT) information. Our goal is to continue to build our growing information portal by providing the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more.

Advertising