Mobility - Fluid Data that Follows You Wherever You Are

Who has a land line anymore? I had one until a couple of months ago but my daughters never installed one when they moved on their own – and that was 4-5 years ago. The new generations grew up mobile and they are shaping a new market. Our dear cable companies are offering the triple plays and it’s like “do you want fries with that” kind of marketing…  Who needs cable TV when you can watch content online anytime-anywhere? Things are changing rapidly.

A lot of business models need to change. Many banks realized early on that the mobile channel is the future for growth. Of course, it’s an evolution – banks are taking small steps at a time – but we are starting to see person-to-person payments, check deposits with a mobile phone picture etc.  It helps that there is some fresh thinking coming from startups like Square. Its founder, Jack Dorsey, had no financial background, just an idea that technology has to be intuitive and that payments have to happen fast (a traditional credit card transaction takes two days to close). Did I mention that he also founded Twitter? With this kind of competition we’re going to see a lot more innovation in mobile payments – and in mobile banking.

Mobility has many facets and, since I work for NetApp, let’s talk about data mobility.

Do you know where your data is? If we’re talking about the files on your computer, you definitely know. More and more we need to share files and it does not make sense to create many copies – it’s a waste of space but it’s also hard to maintain in synch.  Enter SharePoint from Microsoft or Sharefile from Citrix.

But what happens if you are not in front of your computer? Cloud storage services like Dropbox, Box, Google Drive are the answer. The catch is that they don’t have Enterprise-grade security.  I liked this quote from a CISO at a Large Investment Bank:

“There are only two kinds of companies in the world – those that have a Dropbox problem and those that won’t admit they have a Dropbox problem.”

What if you could securely access your SharePoint files and other corporate data from your phone or iPad? Accessing files where they are, behind a firewall, with no need for a VPN and with pixel-perfect rendering? IonGrid has the technology and NetApp thought it’s a great solution, so they bought them.  I think this is the first time that the NetApp logo is going to show up in front of the end-user.

Here is a demo of the user experience with NetApp Connect.

NetApp has other, less visibile features; the better they work, the more invisible they are. Take NetApp DataMotion, which migrates live data while your applications keep running. NetApp SnapMirror replicates data between locations. NetApp is also the preferred storage and data management platform for Citrix Sharefile.

I want my data to follow me wherever I go and I don’t want separate work and play devices.  For example,  on the Samsung Galaxy S4, KNOX offers a seamless and intuitive dual-persona platform for situations when a single Samsung device is used for both work and play.

I may want different devices depending on where I am. If I’m at home on my couch I want to watch a movie on a big screen. If I’m presenting to a customer I prefer a laptop. If I want to quickly check my email I will use my phone.

Lifestyle drives consumer mobility requirements and workflow drives enterprise mobility.

A lot of technologies have to work together to enable this seamless access. I’m inclined to call it “fluid data” as a follow-up on a previous blog where I wrote about “open data”. Stay tuned, we may find many more facets of data…