Box delays IPO, Is Public Cloud Momentum Beginning to Slow?

Posted by ownCloud GmbH – 8. May 2014

Well, frankly, I think it’s a given – especially if you take a look at Bessemer’s cloud computing index in this VentureBeat story, but I guess we have to ask why.

I mean, the cloud is great; fast, often cheap deployment and flexible on and off boarding. Great flexibility for departments and individuals. So what’s not to like?

As corporate IT has begun to focus on things like data protection and the real cost of the cloud, they have found some disturbing consequences and, since storage and cloud tools are now more affordable than ever, companies are rethinking their cloud rush.

First the consequences:

Privacy. Anyone who hasn’t been living in a cave has been hearing the nightmare stories of governments – and cloud service providers themselves – snooping into customer data. And just recently, it seems that it no longer matter where, geographically, that data is stored. Isn’t it better to rely on your own internal protections and legal team to protect your data?

Security. We are not saying necessarily that public cloud providers are not secure – I guess we’re just saying that, all things being equal, wouldn’t you trust the infrastructure you already have to secure your data?

Downtime. Again, wouldn’t you rather choke/rely on your own throat?

Total loss of control. With the advent of BYOD and BYOA, employees are exposing more and more data – sometimes even regulated data – to the public cloud, potentially exposing their employers to regulatory and legal consequences.

Cost. Nothing in life is free. Sure, most cloud services offering free storage and small projects are relatively cheaply, but scale up and companies are finding the costs quickly multiply. Why pay for storage when you already have storage? Why create redundant silos of data? Why move your data at all?

With the reduction of storage costs, the vast improvement of cloud tools for internal cloud and the investments already made in internal IT infrastructure, why move your data?

Many business are in fact turning to private or hybrid cloud models — holding on to critical data and using the security, management and identity tools they already have to protect their data AND give their employees the tools they are used to.

And let’s consider why Box — and Dropbox for that matter — have had to raise so much money. They sell storage. So every customer — including free users — costs them money to support. We have a different way of going about things. We’re open source and we don’t sell storage, we sell the ability to use your own storage (or cloud storage) as easily as you would pure cloud storage. And our free users? Well, we call them our community. And they teach us a lot and often become paying customers. They use their own storage and their own tools to protect their data. They aren’t a drag on our business, they help fuel it.

Businesses will continue to seek better ways to access – and protect – data. We just think we have a better, and more flexible, mouse trap.

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