It’s one thing to be able to share files via cloud computing service; it’s quite another to be able to collaborate with multiple people who share access to the same applications on their favorite mobile computing device.
To help achieve that goal, Box today announced that it is extending the BoxOne Cloud service to add support for Google Android devices and applications alongside Apple iOS. According to Chris Yeh, vice president of platform at Box, Box is asking Google Android and Apple iOS application developers to use a Box application programming interface (API) in a way that allows their applications to be hosted in the BoxOne Cloud environment. At the moment, Yeh says that Box has 50 third-party applications available on the BoxOne Cloud platform for both Google Android and Apple iOS.
Yeh says BoxOne Cloud gives IT organizations a richer collaboration alternative that is more secure than services such as Dropbox.com. Of course, IT organizations could roll out their own service using open source technologies, but in reality most of them don’t have the time, skills or resources needed to develop and manage such a service. The BoxOne Cloud service, says Yeh, is morphing into an ecosystem for productivity applications that any IT organization can use on demand.
What’s most interesting is that over time, users of Google Android and Apple iOS devices could share a common set of applications via the BoxOne Cloud service, which from an IT perspective would eliminate the need to require end users to standardize on any particular Google Android or Apple mobile computing device.
At the end of the day, the whole cloud computing argument comes down to productivity. End users are looking for a way to collaborate with each other in an ad hoc manner that doesn’t require any direct intervention from IT. The IT organization isn’t against in that in principle; it just wants to make sure that happens in a secure manner that meets compliance requirements. The good news is that those two goals are not as mutually exclusive as most people seem to think.