The Digital Economy: Embracing The Latest Technological Advancements

The Digital Economy: Embracing The Latest Technological Advancements

The Digital Economy As you would expect, for any business to achieve successful growth and meet its objectives, it must be willing to embrace the latest technological advancements. Whilst big data and business intelligence (BI) don’t exactly top the leaderboard when it comes to the
Data Privacy Day (Cue The Parade)!

Data Privacy Day (Cue The Parade)!

Data Privacy Day On Sunday, January 28, the United States, Canada, India and 47 European countries will celebrate Data Privacy Day, an international day established to raise awareness of the importance of data protection and to promote privacy and data protection practices. But did you

CONTRIBUTORS

5 Things To Consider About Your Next Enterprise Sharing Solution

5 Things To Consider About Your Next Enterprise Sharing Solution

Enterprise File Sharing Solution Businesses have varying file sharing needs. Large, multi-regional businesses need to synchronize folders across a large ...
Top Security and IT Priorities To Pay Close Attention To

Top Security and IT Priorities To Pay Close Attention To

Top Security Priorities By 2019, cybercrime is expected to cost businesses over $2.1 trillion globally according to Juniper Research. Needless ...
Critical Success Factors when shifting Workloads into the Cloud

Critical Success Factors when shifting Workloads into the Cloud

Shifting Workloads into the Cloud By 2020, 92 percent of all workloads will reside in the cloud. Yet challenges remain ...

RESOURCES

Business Analytics Vs Data Science

Business Analytics Vs Data Science

Big Data Continues To Grow Big Data continues to be a much discussed topic of interest and for good reason.  According to a recent report from International Data Corporation (IDC), "worldwide revenues for big data and business analytics will grow ...
How Security Certification Helps Cloud Service Providers Stay Transparent and Credible

How Security Certification Helps Cloud Service Providers Stay Transparent and Credible

Security Certification Helps Cloud Service Providers If you are a cloud service provider (CSP), you know your customers have a choice as to who to work with, but do you know what will help tip the scales in your favor? ...
Data Vulnerability Tools

Data Vulnerability Tools

Provided is a list of popular data vulnerability tools to help your company keep an eye out for any security related exploits that you should be made aware of ...
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud - Turmoil
Aaron Levie

The Future Of Cloud Storage And Sharing

Cloud Storage And Sharing

The online (or cloud) storage business has always been a really interesting industry. When we started Box in 2005, it was a somewhat untouchable category of technology, perceived to be a commodity service with low margins and little consumer willingness to pay.

All three of these factors remain today, but with dropping storage costs, constantly improving bandwidth and computing performance, and consumers’ ever-growing personal digital libraries, online storage (profitable or otherwise) has become a strategic offering for most large internet and software companies. Google continuously updates its Docs service with upgradeable storage and more features, Apple is rumored to soon announce a free version of MobileMe, and Microsoft has no fewer than five ways to store and manage files in the cloud, including 25GB of free space through Skydrive.

So it makes sense that after five years of providing storage infrastructure for a large population of startups, Amazon has decided to move into the consumer storage category with its Cloud Drive. I can imagine a number of reasons why Amazon did this – with their kindle software and apps marketplace, Amazon is continuing to diversify the kinds of solutions it delivers to customers. To Amazon, pieces of content are the digital equivalent of what they used to sell in the physical world to you: a digital MP3 replaces the CD, a video stream replaces the DVD, and mobile games replace that Xbox game purchase. Why wouldn’t Amazon also help consumers store and manage these digital assets?

But here’s the challenge: it’s not as easy as it looks.

Any storage provider, whether they’ve survived or combusted, will tell you that the business is far more challenging than it might appear. In fact, the term “cloud storage” is a bit of a misnomer – what consumers are really buying (and using) is the application on top of that storage. The nuances to providing a seamless user experience around accessing, sharing, collaborating, streaming, and integrating data is something that not many companies understand. Putting disk drives in the cloud is easy; building a killer product that people will return to, or want to interact with, is anything but.

This is the reason HP so visibly got out of the business with HP Upline two years ago, for instance, and it’s the reason why many other software and hardware providers have closed up their services over the years.

So while it’s great that Amazon is getting into the space, and even better that they’re continuing to push on the market’s expectations with 5G of free storage (something that we announced in November last year), there’s quite a bit of distance between where they are today and a remarkable product. After playing around with the service for a bit, here are a few suggestions:

Work on the user experience – While the core application was intuitive enough (it renders like your local file system), I didn’t find many good ways to get lots of data in the application; it’s unclear if there are any desktop integrations available besides a way to upload your music; and I don’t think the music browsing or playing experience will make iTunes or Spotify worry too much about lost customers.

Let people take their data anywhere – The web needs fewer, not more, silos of information for consumers. Our data is already trapped in online services ranging from Facebook to Apple, and by the looks of it, Amazon Cloud Drive is another one of these traps. Consumers want to work and play from anywhere, and our technology needs to have open APIs and connections to the other services and devices that individuals are using.

Users want to share – As far as I could tell, there’s no ability to actually share the files you’ve uploaded to Amazon Cloud Drive, which basically results in the service being a data dumping ground with limited utility. The power of having your data in the cloud, as opposed to stored locally or on a remote disk, is that you can instantly and easily share with people you trust. Amazon will need to create a compelling experience around sharing your media or content frictionlessly.

That said, it’s quite possible that Amazon’s only motive for launching a cloud drive is to help bridge the content that customers are buying on Amazon with the devices in Amazon’s ecosystem. If Amazon were to, as rumored, get into the tablet category with their own hardware, launching a complementary media storage solution would be a good way to connect their two ecosystems.

While Box doesn’t compete with Amazon’s Cloud Drive – we’re 100% focused on serving enterprises – we welcome more innovation and excitement in the ecosystem. We believe that consumers and information workers alike should be able to get to their information from any device, any software, and any network, at any time.

By Aaron Levie

Aaron Levie

Aaron Levie is Chief Executive Officer, Cofounder and Chairman at Box, which he launched in 2005 with CFO and cofounder Dylan Smith. He is the visionary behind the Box product and platform strategy, incorporating the best of secure content collaboration with an intuitive user experience suited to the way people work today. Aaron leads the company in its mission to transform the way people and businesses work so they can achieve their greatest ambitions. He has served on the Board of Directors since April 2005.

Aaron attended the University of Southern California from 2003 to 2005 before leaving to found Box.

View Website

CLOUDTWEAKS COMMUNITY PARTNERS

Each year we provide a number of highly customized branded programs to community support partners and going into our 10th year at CloudTweaks is no different. Sponsorship opportunities will be available for all budgets and sizes including the (premium) thought leadership exposure program or the webinar, podcast, white paper or explainer video lead generation programs.  Contact us for more information on these opportunities.

Cloud Community Supporters

(ISC)²
Cisco
SAP
CA Technologies
Dropbox

Cloud community support comes from (paid) sponsorship or (no cost) collaborative network partnership initiatives.