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“The Cloud Provides a Silver Lining for Mobile”

By Vineet Jain
Fox Small Business Center
August 23, 2011

The use of mobile devices has gained incredible momentum over the past decade with businesses being major mobile adopters producing 6% per year enterprise growth for mobile handsets and 24% per year growth for big-screen mobile devices like tablets. When you add up business and consumer adoption, there will be about one mobile device per person on the planet by 2015.

Businesses, Mobile, and the Cloud

As mobile usage proliferates, users are also increasing their data needs. The average smartphone user will use 89% more data per month this year compared to last year. Business users find increased data to be a necessity; with increasingly remote and distributed workforces, small and large companies need to provide their mobile users with fast, around-the-clock access to important data. Demand is ripe for mobile applications that can help businesses stay agile and responsive without sacrificing security or reliability in the process.

Cloud-based applications address this need; users can store, back up and share even the largest data files through their mobile devices at anytime and anywhere. Files can be shared using links or attachments, freeing users from the size limitations of email. Egnyte adds convenience by letting users access and make changes to files on their mobile devices without an Internet connection. Those files will then sync up to the cloud once connectivity is restored.

In effect, the cloud and mobile have a symbiotic relationship: 60% of server workloads will be virtualized by 2014, according to a Gartner report. We at Egnyte are experiencing this surge in demand, and 40% of our users access the cloud using a mobile device.

Security Where it Matters Most

Without security, the ease and convenience of the cloud-mobile mix are moot points.

Granted, mobile devices are becoming more secure with encryption on provider connections and access to virtual private network (VPN) and secure shell (SSH) tunnels for safe Web surfing. Yet users are adopting consumer-oriented file sharing solutions to access their business files from mobile devices. Cloud file sharing services designed for businesses offer access controls and encryption to protect sensitive data.

A company’s information technology (IT) administrator must have control over who accesses information and what they can do with it. If that piece is lacking, companies don’t know who can see data or what they are allowed to do with it. Businesses can lose control of their data. In addition, encrypted transmission protects confidential business information from unauthorized users. A secure file storage system safeguards against infections and the resultant crashes, which can take days to recover from and may wipe out data completely.

The Cloud has a Mobile Lining

The primary concerns of mobile users are convenience and security. Businesses need controls to truly safeguard their mobile networks. A cloud-based file server, with its ease of use, ability to store and share files of all sizes, secure backup, and allowance for centralized control, meets these needs. By all indications, the cloud offers the best way to meet the needs of mobile business.

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