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Personal Cloud: the Next Wave of Digital Enterprise Apps

More CIOs now accept that their most progressive Line of Business leaders are not a threat to their authority, they're merely driven to find the best-fit solutions to their business technology requirements. By 2018, 50 percent of traditional IT organizations will evolve to support assets and services outside their internal service portfolio, according to the latest market study by Gartner, Inc.

In particular, Personal Cloud services are growing in importance, as more employees take control of their digital lives. Meanwhile, IT managers responsible for building the 'digital workplace' will be increasingly challenged, as the personal cloud phenomenon continues to evolve and intersect with official IT-sanctioned initiatives.

"The personal cloud is the collection of content, services and tools that users assemble to fulfill their personal digital lifestyle needs across any device. Each user's personal cloud is unique and evolving, as the user's daily needs change and as vendors and products come and go," said Stephen Kleynhans, research vice president at Gartner.

Looking forward, Gartner believes that we'll see continued upheaval from the ongoing blend of personal and corporate digital tools and information. This is the new normal, and there's no point in command-and-control oriented CIOs attempting to block it, or slow down progress.

According to Gartner's assessment, the next wave of the personal cloud apps will be shaped by two key trends -- increased access to personal information and increased intelligence applied to the user experience and against the user's information.

Kleynhans adds, "By 2018, we forecast that 25 percent of large organizations will have an explicit strategy to make their corporate computing environment become more similar to a consumer computing experience."

Three key areas where Personal Cloud will impact the enterprise:
  • Virtual personal assistants will increasingly become the anchor point for users' personal clouds and have broad access to both user and enterprise information, creating potential security challenges for the digital workplace manager.
  • The Internet of Things and wearables will exponentially expand each user's personal cloud and raise new challenges for end-user computing and digital workplace managers in overseeing security and privacy.
  • Strong authentication technology will become increasingly critical across a user's personal cloud as part of an overall data protection strategy, causing end-user computing managers to rethink their current authentication strategies.

That being said, savvy end-users that adopt personal cloud offerings are not 'rogue' employees, they're not subversives that want to bypass their legacy IT organization's policies and procedures at all costs. What they demand, however, is that they're given the opportunity to fully participate in the digital business transformation that's reshaping today's workplace.

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