Today at the Gartner Catalyst Conference I attended a panel discussion „A Battle for Cloud Hill: A Public vs Private cloud Debate“ – moderated by Gartner’s Kyle Hilgendorf — and witnessed something that reinforces why I believe so strongly that ownCloud’s approach is the right solution for corporate IT.
To set the stage, the room was filled with approximately 200 IT professionals from some of the biggest organizations in America…all there to learn how to deal with the BYOD issues they are facing and what to do about the „Cloud.” The panelists (Ed Lacsynski from Datapipe (pro Public Cloud) and Mayuresh Shintre from Target (pro Private Cloud)) were in a heated debate about the security aspects of public vs. private cloud when Hilgendorf stopped them and asked the audience for a show of hands.
“Raise your hand if you think Public Clouds are more secure than Private Clouds,“ and 20 or so people raised their hands. Then Kyle asked people to raise their hands if they believed the opposite. Everyone else in the room raised their hands!
This ad hoc poll told me 2 things: 1) IT professionals are not ready (emotionally, technically — both) to move company applications to the cloud regardless of what their end users are doing with SaaS vendors today. 2) ownCloud’s approach to the market with an on-premise (or hybrid highly-controlled and managed) File Sync and Share solution is EXACTLY what the market wants today.
When I say „market“ here I mean the market of buyers who have been tasked with finding a secure alternative to Dropbox or other consumer grade File Sync and Share solutions to prevent sensitive corporate data leakage – IT Professionals.
Now admittedly the panelists were not 100% Private or Public Cloud advocates. They both admitted there are some things that should go outside and some that should not…the key is giving IT the control they require to ensure the best choices are made. Like all big platform changes in computing: Mainframe to Mini Computer, Mini Computer to Desktop and client Server, Desktop to Internet — one thing remains constant…critical systems and data remain in control of IT, maybe not the same way they did it in the past but still in control, It’s the role of IT to ensure the company’s assets are managed well.
With ownCloud we give customers the best of both worlds; a world class private cloud or on-premise solution that gives IT control AND the ease of use of cloud applications like Dropbox – a perfect market fit!