I just finished reading an article in WIRED about password security. If you consider this trend of personal devices at work combined with the general lack of security provided by password protection - it seems likely there will be more and more hacker issues arising in the future. I wouldn't be surprised to see some rather draconian protections put in place by companies as backlash. Great article by the way. You touched on a very relevant and timely workplace issue.
What always bugs me about "the cloud" is the fact that the cloud is still just computers somewhere remote. Systems that can fail, lose data. Some I.T. guy could spill a mountain dew on some harddrives, and there goes your mountain of work and files.
It reminds me of about 10 years ago when the Microsoft Hotmail servers went down, and a huge majority of people lost all their emails. This included me. I lost all the exchanges I had with a girl I just met at the time, who is now my wife. The loss has shaken my trust in the cloud.
The cloud is great for portability, but I wouldn't rely completely on it.
The division between one's personal existance and one's employment existance is a challenge indeed. Keeping personal separated from work, in my case, was helped a lot by the published management policy that everything done on company equipment was company property and not private at all. So when I chose to do work at home it was done on my computer and then transferred to the company system by removable media, which assured me that my system was kept separate from corperate examination. No, it was not quite as convenient as other methods, but good security is seldom as easy as ineffective security. We all need to remember that fact.
Freedom from I.T. snooping, activity tracking, and control of work resources drive this trend. Like I said, my colleagues and friends all have gone down this route. Only using the work computer for things like email and file storage. Of course, some backlash will be felt. Banning use of cell phones. Perhaps even using a cell phone jammer (though they may be illegal now).
Only real downside is, what if your personal system gets broken or stolen along its lifetime. All one's unbackuped work will be lost. I imagine their job would soon follow suit.
Nice article, Cabe. There are a couple other aspects to this story that's I've seen anecdotally. For one, these devices let employees bring their own workspace. I expect more and more people will use these devices to work from home. Another thing I've seen is people are using their personal devices for work rather than using the devices handed out by IT. Many people would rather use their personal iPhone for work rather than using the company Blackberry.
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