Regardless of what people might say, the recent couple of years were great for the technology industry. We (technologists) exhausted the 3 and 4 letter acronyms, and at some point just when we thought 5 letters is the new 3 letter a miracle has happen.
The CLOUD was created enabling us to cloud wash everything by simply adding “aaS” as a suffix. This allowed us to start all over again with the 1-2 letters game.
As you can see I’m no different than the rest. So what is ShaaS (used in the title) all about? Is it simply Shlomi as a Service? Better guess again…
It is actually Sharing as a Service. A lot was said and written about collaboration and sharing of data but despite the chatter, solutions have not addressed some of the key challenges.
I’ll focus just on one of these challenges - modern collaboration and data sharing are dynamic by nature and cannot be controlled by static policies/controls.
Let’s follow a use case (as an example) – sharing a document with a group of people. The team can access the file, download it, read it, etc. But what happens two weeks from now when something has changed and I want to stop sharing the file with some members of the team? Using existing information protection techniques (such as DLP or DRM) will not allow me to do it as the file is already in possession of these people. Even if it was wrapped by some type of a shell (in the case of DRM), it is based on a static, outdated policy.
It is true Enterprise 2.0 guys say (rightfully) organizations should design for loss of control (including over data) as web 2.0 penetrates the enterprise. However while organizations promote sharing/collaboration they should protect their sensitive data.
Another interesting phenomenon is the different approach to data by enterprises and consumers. While the enterprise default is “secure first then ask questions”, for consumers it is all about sharing (security? privacy? No one cares!). It looks like consumers treat data as almost nonexistent unless it is shared.
It will be interesting to see a TTS (“Time To Share”) graph over time (i.e. time from actual event to when it is shared). I’m willing to bet TTS has dramatically gone down and is currently very low.
1. In the past one would take photos of an event, download it to the computer, upload it to your favorite social networking tool and share it with a selected audience.
2. Then it seems all devices introduced direct social networking posting capabilities.
3. Next using telepathy capabilities, thoughts will be automatically posted.
4. And finally, the ultimate sharing tool – the Twitter generator. Based on my interests and real events will automagically generate tweets in real-time (on my behalf). I will be perceived extremely smart, how cool is that?
The reality is probably somewhere in the middle, sharing of data is fundamental for the business, yet should be controlled to protect the business. Information protection systems should be morphed with data sharing tools taking its dynamic nature into consideration.
While I leave you with this, I’ll go back to think how to make Shlomi as a Service a viable business…