Comms-care Blog

Is the era of BYOC upon us?

by Darren Briscoe

July 02, 2014

Just when we finally got our heads around what BYOD and BYOA are all about, along comes another acronym to define a new IT trend.  The latest buzzword now is ‘BYOC ‘, which stands for bring your own cloud. The term refers to the actions of individuals or employees who use their own cloud services on their devices or have access to their company’s private cloud services to perform certain job requirements.

BYOC might be a new acronym but personal cloud has been around since employees started bringing smartphones and tablets to work.  We all have access to our own cloud services- whether it’s our Gmail, Skype or Dropbox accounts.

So why do we need to create a new acronym to define our usage? Because while more people continue to use their own devices at work, the issue of security, management and privacy continues to grow.  The acronym identifies this new trend and puts a spotlight on its advantages…and drawbacks.

Whilst BYOC has a lot going for it, most businesses haven’t done enough to adopt the kind of policies that can successfully manage the introduction of employee-introduced devices, app and cloud services.

And businesses should care.  BYOC might provide faster and cheaper services that require minimal IT involvement but adoption also comes with its share of risk. Any data that’s stored in the cloud could be dispersed across different cloud providers. As such, there’s a lack of transparency as to where the data is located and who can access it. Also, there’s no way of ensuring that the data stored by cloud providers are actually being managed in accordance to your organisation’s regulatory policies.

In addition to loss of overall control of data access or management, BYOC can also lead to greater data loss and the possibility that the keepers of the data on the cloud don’t have the technical expertise and IT experience to manage a data crisis if things go wrong on the cloud.  There’s also a greater risk of errors.

The best way to tackle the problem is to introduce a policy to help manage the use of personal cloud.  Any sensitive data that could be compromised on a public cloud can be moved to a private cloud that’s more secure and controlled by IT professionals. It’s a small price to pay for piece of mind.