Unintentional cloud computing

There’s much market-noise about cloud computing, however my online world (from the applications I use to the files I access) largely resides locally on my home PC.

And yet I found myself yesterday unintentially defaulting to the cloud. Let me explain.

I spend the majority of my working week working from my home office. I am connected to my corporate network via a VPN, allowing me to access the same files that would be available to me were I sat at my office desk.

I’m currently working on a report looking at the impact of mass-market adoption of smartphones on mobile carrier profitability. As part of my research I wanted to review the reams and reams of data that myself and my colleagues have compiled over the last few years. In the majority of cases, this data is presented through case studies, white papers, reports etc. All are available on the corporate network, but many are also online as downloads that we’ve publicly made available from our website.

In accessing these documents for review, I found myself defaulting the open / online versions rather than the original files from the corporate network. Why?

  • My browser is open continuously
  • It’s faster to search for the document by name / content via my web browser than to navigate the corporate network (the relevant folders are 10 levels deep).
  • Google desktop search / Windows search is not as fast  nor efficient at resolving search requests
  • An online search not only provides a link to my intended file, but also content that’s similar in nature and useful to my research

I found it interesting that my behavior, being influenced by speed and convenience, was choosing the open web as my file archive, rather than the corporate network. Unintentional cloud computing!

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