Analysts following cloud computing may want to include a “usefulness” factor into their assessment of how users are adopting these new computing trends. Early examples of how high value applications perform, when clients are located remotely from terminals and screens may not be as promising as one would otherwise expect.
We maintain an Office 365, Enterprise Edition subscription. Once we learned of the “1 TB of OneDrive storage coming to an Office 365 near you” offer from Microsoft, which provides any/all subscribers to Office 365 1 TB of storage, at no additional charge, we decided to back off of using an on premises Linux storage repository and move all of the active, daily storage we need to this OneDrive for Business cloud offer.
Unfortunately, when users are consuming office productivity applications like Word, Excel, or PowerPoint from the Office Professional Plus suite included with an Office 365 enterprise plan, the bi-directional communication required between desktop, remote client, and remote storage can (and in our case does) create a rather unsatisfactory daily computing experience which average users may not be willing to adopt.
Despite maintaining a high-speed fiber optic data connection with the WAN, we are experiencing 10-30 sec latency, literally 100s of times a day, as we create or edit documents which are stored in our OneDrive for Business repository. When the applications subject to this experience were limited to email and browsing web pages, this time drain didn’t amount to much and, therefore, was tolerable for our users. But when high value applications take on the same characteristics, it may not be easy for the “average” business technology consumer to accommodate the experience.
It would seem the same type of procedure is required of businesses using Google Apps for business, especially where the desktop hardware are Chromebooks. This writer thinks resellers like BestBuy opted to “pre-warn” consumers about the unique “flavor” of cloud-intensive computing as the results of a heavy rate of product returns from dissatisfied consumers (caveat: we have no hard statistics on this point, but still note introductory material designed to help consumers “learn more about Chromebooks” before they actually purchase one on BestBuy’s web site).
Bottom line: over time we think a substantial segment of consumers will be reluctant to adopt pure cloud computing for high value applications.
© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2014 All Rights Reserved