Bring your own device (BYOD) with its restrictive covenants have resulted in contraventions.  Employees are not happy to work within enterprise defined boundaries, if they can get their job done with faster and better tools that exist in their personal cloud. As a result, employers are toying with the idea of allowing their employees bring in their own clouds.

A closer look at the prevalent computing world will reveal that the lines between personal and official computing is blurring. Many employees use their personal cloud to store official digital information for anywhere, anytime, any device use. For instance, a travelling salesman may find it convenient to store relevant information in a personal cloud for ease of access. The accessibility of the information may add value to the services and improve customer relations.  The employer cannot argue that the employee has violated the covenants and restrictions of the organization and penalize the employee. The alternate option would be to ensure that the employee does not misuse the information or compromise the security of the organizational information in any manner by making stipulations on what data can be uploaded to cloud services and what cannot.

The “bring your own cloud” strategy will have to examine in detail security issues associated with each of the cloud services that are brought in by employees before permitting them to use the services.  The process can include the identification and listing out of cloud services they consider safe and secure and a stipulation that the cloud accounts that are used for business purposes should be secured against third party access.  In short, the organization should define a “bring your own cloud” (BYOC) policy.

A few cloud service providers have taken a step forward and have come up with applications that enable users have a unified view of business and personal applications from a single window.  Users do not have to log out of one account to log into another cloud account in order to work.  They can use a single login to access both accounts and view or modify documents across accounts. Documents modified in the personal account will be backed up to the enterprise cloud where enterprise policies take precedence.

Clearly, a change is on the cards.  Employers will be forced to integrate personal cloud services into the current business IT stacks and learn to work with them.