On the corporate "personal cloud" side, what's driving the change is the freemium model of delivery. It's awfully hard to argue with free, even for a surface-level version of an application. What was expensive licensed software is now often available as a low-cost or a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application.
For example, Google and Microsoft offer Web services that provide a cloud storage drive as a native add-on that can be used to store, share and collaborate on documents. Another example is employees using their own personal Box, Dropbox or EMC Mozy account for work. This is common in larger organizations that don't have the budgets or staff to keep up with changes in IT.
Hard to Argue with 'Free'
Enterprise-level storage solutions have been available for free or at a nominal cost for several years, and individuals are taking advantage of them.
In order to maintain business continuity and employee collaboration, it's essential for IT departments to implement both BYOD and cloud solutions that not only offer employees consumer-grade simplicity but also the ability to seamlessly and securely collaborate.
As time moves on, IT departments are going to need to integrate both BYOD and BYOC into their IT strategies, which includes incorporating mobile-device management, conducting security audits, integrating with a central management tool and providing simple solutions.
Through the implementation of employee-friendly BYOD and BYOC strategies, IT managers can position their enterprises to secure a competitive advantage over organizations less prepared for the cloud and personal device-driven workplace.
This whole idea is in response to a world in which business owners and consumers increasingly want access to all their information—wherever they happen to be and using whatever device they happen to have. Because network-attached storage appliances continue to get bigger in capacity, smaller in size, faster, cheaper and more capable of delivering a secure cloud-based storage offering, the genre has done what much of enterprise IT has done over the years: trickle down to the individual user.
We at eWEEK are watching this trend and will be reporting on it often in the coming months.