During VMworld this week, talk of consumerization — or the rise of consumer applications and devices in corporate settings — was everywhere, stemming from VMware CEO Paul Maritz’s and CTO Steve Herrod’s mobile- and application-centric keynotes.
Included in Herrod’s presentation was talk of a new Dropbox-like application called Project Octopus that will let users safely store, access and share corporate documents. It all so sounded so promising, and then someone asked me whether it will actually get used. If employees already use Dropbox, she asked, why would they want to use a different service to do essentially the same thing while at work?
The truth is that I don’t know. I can see why employers would want them to use a separate service, but will employees stand for it? I tend to agree with my colleague Stacey Higginbotham, who noted while reporting on VMware’s mobile play, “While enterprises will love the ability to control who can access their data, employees may not want to give up the ability to use their own tools and choose who they share their files with.” Of course, it’s not so much a question about Dropbox or Project Octopus as much as it is about the role of consumer applications in corporate settings in general."