Do You Have Any Idea Which Cloud Services Your Colleagues Are Using?

Do You Have Any Idea Which Cloud Services Your Colleagues Are Using?

Management panic over stealth installations of Dropbox and other similar consumer-oriented cloud storage and sharing services is relatively frequent these days. However, there’s no excuse for panicking if you have no idea whether it’s happening or not.

Cloud picture from Shutterstock

A recent survey of 100 Australian CIOs by IDC which asked how often staff were using those kinds of services to share files suggests a mild level of delusion in this area. The CommVault-sponsored survey (which we’ve already touched on a couple of times recently) had the following findings:

  • 21 per cent said it happened often
  • 25 per cent said it happened sometimes
  • 29 per cent said it happened rarely
  • 24 per cent said it never happened
  • 1 per cent said they didn’t know

At first glance, that seems OK; more than half the respondents claim that usage of such services is either low or non-existent. However, I’m inclined to take the numbers with a grain of salt. It’s possible to lock down desktops and laptops, but in the BYOD era, merely tracking what’s used on mobiles and tablets is tricky. One commonly-suggested solution is to offer a corporate-approved sharing service as an alternative. That certainly beats assuming it never happens.


  • Absolutely spot on I reckon Angus. In my experience, it’s a very interesting exercise to ask a business owner “are you using cloud services” and then to ask their employees the same question. Inevitably the business owner says no, whilst the employees proudly boast of all the great “free” online services they’ve discovered and use every day (Dropbox, Skydrive, Skype seem to be very common). The fact is employees will self-service if the business doesn’t have the technology facilities they need to enable them to do their job. I wrote a post about this myself earlier in the year, and also just recently a related post around the “new workplace currency” and our ability as modern employees to easily work around the confines of the businesses IT systems

  • Its amazing how many staff at my organisation self install Dropbox when we get 30GB of Google Drive through our enterprise agreement with them. The Google service is free and can be accessed with a couple of mouse clicks, but they just don’t know about and install Dropbox because thats what works on their phone and a friend told them about it.

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