IT Management Slideshow: Apple's iCloud: 10 Things Every CIO Should KnowBy Don Reisinger | Posted 06-08-2011
Apple's iCloud: 10 Things Every CIO Should Know
1. iCloud is FreeDuring the keynote address at WWDC, Apple went on out of its way to make it clear that iCloud will be available free of charge. By offering a free service, Apple has made iCloud a potential contender to go up against other paid public cloud service offerings.
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2. It Works On PCsApple knew that in order for iCloud to be successful, it had to work on more than just Macs and iOS-based devices. Realizing that, the service works on Windows PCs. If you are thinking about using iCloud in some fashion at your company, having Windows support is a plus.
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3. BlackBerry, Android Need Not ApplyIf your employees are using BlackBerry or Android mobile devices, you might as well stop considering iCloud now. According to Apple, the service will only work with iOS-based mobile devices, as well as Macs and PCs. This leave out all other mobile platforms, including BlackBerry and Android.
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4. It's A (Limited) Online Storage SolutionApple has said that users will be able to use iCloud as a backup solution, which might pique your interest. However, keep in mind that the service will only allow for 5GB of backup per user, and that includes email, calendar, video, and other content.
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5. Employees Will Use It For Personal ReasonsEmployees who already use iPhone or iPad will likely start using iCloud the day it's release this fall. And when that happens, you'll need to be prepared. Should you block access to it on your corporate network? Should you allow for it? Start thinking about that now, before employees start accessing.
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6. What About Security?Amid all the talk surrounding iCloud, Apple failed to dig into a key feature that probably means a lot to you: security. You might want to wait a bit to see how iCloud is accepted in the wild, and whether or not it experiences any security issues. Whether or not iCloud will have all the security features you're looking for remains to be seen.
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7. It's Apple's Post-PC PlayAllowing iCloud to work on different platforms meets the company's vision of a post-PC world. Apple has designs on making the cloud the place we'll store all our content in the future. Will it succeed? It's too early to tell, but Apple isn't the only company espousing a post-PC future.
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8. There Are Other Services Out ThereMake no mistake that there are a slew of online-backup services in the wild, including Carbonite and Mozy, that deliver the same basic service as Apple's offering. However, Apple added a bit of a twist with its integration of its App Store and iTunes. If you're strictly looking for robust online-backup solutions, there are many out there to choose from.
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9. It Won't Replace Current SolutionsIf you're already running cloud-storage solutions in your operation, don't expect iCloud to make you want to ditch your existing options. Like so many Apple products, iCloud is designed for consumers first, and there are some serious limitations on it for the enterprise.
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10. Remember: It's From Apple Given the company's history in the enterprise, you might be skeptical about considering iCloud for your operation. But, keep in mind the number of workers you've have with iPhones or iPads. Although iCloud is a consumer play, its consumers are your workers, too. While iCloud doesn't jump out as an enterprise first-choice, expect it to crop up in your organization whether you like it or not.