The Risk of Employees Using Personal Cloud Sharing Solutions
The Story of a Model Sales Rep. and his Personal Cloud Sharing Solution
We wrote a blog article in the past on the dangers of utilizing a user-implemented cloud strategy. However today we wanted to focus on a possible scenario.
The Model Sales Rep
John works as a sales consultant for Acme Company. In fact, John is the number one sales rep and a model employee to boot. He’s at home one night and wants to view his Excel sheets, company contact lists and other confidential information. John attempts to VPN into his work network, but realizes he’s forgotten all the steps, and remembers that working over VPN can be pretty sluggish. This reminded John of the cloud file sharing solution that he uses at home already for photos and personal documents – it’s easy to use, quick, and doesn’t require a VPN connection. So he implements this boxed solution for his work files, and no longer has the multiple steps of VPN.
His boss is happy because his top sales rep is happy – not to mention it doesn’t cost the company a penny!
John tells his boss about his new solution. He says he can access all his files remotely from any device without the hassle of VPN. The boss says, “HOW MUCH IS IT GOING TO COST ME?” John says, “Nothing, it’s FREE!” Everyone wins, right? Not so fast.
The Model Sales Rep is… Not so Model Anymore.
About 6 months down the road, John’s performance has decreased, and he is taking interviews with competitors. The boss is wary of John. Soon, John puts in his two weeks and starts work at a competitor’s company.
Boss wants his files back, but he’s lost control of his data!
Before long, the boss is getting calls from clients that have been contacted by John (after he left Acme). He starts to wonder how John has all of this information, and what other information might he have? So the boss reaches out to IT, and asks them what information John could have. IT says, “Well, he was running a personal cloud sharing app that you approved, so we have no way to tell.” The boss directs IT to disable John’s access to those old files. IT explains that that’s not possible; since John signed up with his own personal account, IT doesn’t have any control of it or the files within. The boss is furious, and reaches out to his legal counsel, but unfortunately the damage has already been done.
What went wrong?
If John already had a cloud file sharing app through the company, he would have never brought his own in. However, when IT mentioned a corporate cloud file sharing application, the boss figured, ‘why pay for it? My users have it for free and they’re happy.’ When IT said to John, “Hey, we should go with the corporate version”, John said to the boss, “Don’t waste your money, I already get it for free.” IT was too afraid to say something about a possible scenario like the one above, because he knew the boss and John were extremely close.
The fact is, users are getting these personal applications for free, but the corporate versions come with a price tag; however, these free versions can be detrimental to your organization. Many business owners may not see a need for some of the “new age” technology since their current systems already have the same functionality, just executed in different ways. The problem is if your current systems are not as easy as those personal applications, users will implement their personal technology into their workplace. Organizations that address these efficiency needs internally can avoid the sticky situation above – don’t lose control of your data to save a few bucks!