Amazon recently announced a new cloud storage service called Amazon Cloud Drive. It gives consumers 5GB of free storage and additional storage is $1 a gig/per month. Not a bad deal actually for the convenience of having your stuff at hand, but what Amazon was offering wasn’t just free storage.
They also threw in a way to play your music online and a little upload tool to get it there. They even sweetened the deal early on by offering 20 GB of storage instead of 5 if you bought one album from the Amazon MP3 Store, plus they store Amazon MP3 store purchases on your Cloud Drive automatically by default and don’t count those purchases against your storage total.
It’s not the best online storage out there, but with the player, it’s pretty darn convenient.
So why should you care? You’re not dealing with consumers, right? Well, actually you might be and here’s why.
What a tool like Amazon Cloud Drive does it bring the idea of cloud storage to the masses. While there are plenty of tools that offer online storage now including Dropbox and Box.net, and these services are doing quite well, Amazon brings a level of selling power to the table that these smaller companies can’t match. They might not have the same feature set (not by a long shot), but they are inside a site many people go to regularly, and as such might be more likely to be exposed to.
And those same consumers are more than likely your employees. When they see the simplicity and ease of use, they might even start leaving work files on the drive so they access them when they’re not in the office and they’ll begin to see the convenience the cloud brings.
And when they do, (this is beginning to sound like ‘If You Give a Moose a Muffin‘), chances are they going to want that convenience at work.
You see where I’m going with this now. As cloud computing services like the Amazon Cloud Drive become more available, users will begin (if they haven’t already) to demand that same kind of simplicity and ease of use in the enterprise.
And you need to be ready because as my recent post (Survey Says Managing Cloud is Chief Concern) indicated, while IT may get they have to go to the cloud, most businesses don’t seem to understand that there is management component involved, even outside the firewall.
So follow those intrepid employees to the Cloud. Just make sure you have tools to monitor these services in place when you do.
Photo by getinet on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons License.