Apple’s annual WWDC is highlighting high-end desktop computing, but it’s laptop computers and the cloud that are driving a new wave of business and creative collaboration
WWDC, Apple’s annual megaconference for developers kicks off this week, and Backblaze has team members on the ground to bring home insights and developments. Yet while everyone is drooling over the powerful new Mac Pro, we know that the majority of business users use a portable computer as their primary system for business and creative use.
The Rise of the Mobile, Always On, Portable Workstation
Analysts confirm this trend towards the use of portable computers and the cloud. IDC’s 2019 Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker report shows that desktop form-factor systems comprise only 22.6% of new systems and laptops and portables are chosen almost twice as much at 42.4%.
After all, these systems are extremely popular with users and the DevOps and IT teams that support them. Small and self-contained, with massive compute power, modern laptops have fast SSD drives and always-connected Wi-Fi, helping users be productive anywhere: in the field, on business trips, and at home. Surprisingly, companies today can deploy massive fleets of these notebooks with extremely lean staff. At the inaugural MacDevOps conference a few years ago Google’s team shared that they managed 65,000 Macs with a team of seven admins!
<BOGGLE> Compare this to 99% of the clay feet ‘enterprise’ companies inflicting 90’s IT on their workforce. https://t.co/plHQSTRPLa
— Skip Levens (@ActiveSkip) June 21, 2015
Laptop Backup is More Important Than Ever
With the trend towards leaner IT staffs, and the dangers of computers in the field being lost, dropped or damaged, having a reliable backup system that just works is critical. Despite the proliferation of teams using shared cloud documents and email, all of the other files on your laptop you’re working on — the massive presentation due next week or the project that’s not quite ready to share on Google Drive — all have no protection without backup, which is of course why Backblaze exists!
Cloud as a Shared Business Content Hub is Changing Everything
When a company is backing up users’ files comfortably to the cloud, the next natural step is to adopt cloud-based storage like Backblaze B2 for your teams. With over 750 petabytes of customer data under management, Backblaze has worked with businesses of every size as they adopt cloud storage. Each customer and business does so for different reasons.
In the past, a business department typically would get a share of a company’s NAS server and was asked to keep all of the department’s shared documents there. But outside the corporate firewall, it turns out these systems are hard to access remotely from the road. They require VPNs and a constant network connection to mount a corporate shared drive via SMB or NFS. And, of course, running out of space and storing large files was an ever present problem.
Sharing Business Content in the Cloud Can be Transformational for Businesses
When considering a move to cloud-based storage for your team, some benefits seem obvious, but others are more profound and show that cloud storage is emerging as a powerful, organizing platform for team collaboration.
Shifting to cloud storage delivers these well-known benefits:
- Pay only for storage you actually need
- Grow as large and as quickly as you might need
- Service, management, and upgrades are built in to the service
- Pay for service as you use it out of operating expenses vs. onerous capital expenses
But shifting to shared, cloud storage yields even more profound benefits:
Your Business Content is Easier to Organize and Manage: When your team’s content is in one place, it’s easier to organize and manage, and users can finally let go of stashing content all over your organization or leaving it on their laptops. All of your tools to mine and uncover your business’s content work more efficiently, and your users do as well.
You Get Simple Workflow Management Tools for Free: Storage can fit your business processes much easier with cloud storage and do it on the fly. If you ever need to set up separate storage for teams of users, or define read/write rules for specific buckets of content, it’s easy to configure with cloud storage.
You Can Replace External File-Sharing Tools: Since most email services balk at sending large files, it’s common to use a file sharing service to share big files with other users on your team or outside your organization. Typically this means having to download a massive file, re-upload it to a file-sharing service, and publish that file-sharing link. When your files are already in cloud, sharing it is as simple as retrieving a URL location.
In fact, this is exactly how Backblaze organizes and serves PDF content on our website like customer case studies. When you click on a PDF link on the Backblaze website, it’s served directly from one of these links from a B2 bucket!
You Get Instant, Simple Policy Control over Your Business or Shared Content: B2 offers simple-to-use tools to keep every version of a file as it’s created, keep just the most recent version, or choose how many versions you require. Want to have your shared content links time-out after a day or so? This and more is all easily done from your B2 account page:
You’re One Step Away from Sharing That Content Globally: As you can see, beyond individual file-sharing, cloud storage like Backblaze B2 can serve as your origin store for your entire website. With the emergence of content delivery networks (CDN), you’re now only a step away from sharing and serving your content globally.
To make this easier, Backblaze joined the Bandwidth Alliance, and offers no-cost egress from your content in Backblaze B2 to Cloudflare’s global content delivery network.
Customers that adopt this strategy can dramatically slash the cost of serving content to their users.
Read the Nodecraft/Backblaze case study.
Get Sophisticated Content Discovery and Compliance Tools for Your Business Content: With more and more business content in cloud storage, finding the content you need quickly across millions of files, or surfacing content that needs special storage consideration (for GDPR or HIPAA compliance, for example) is critical.
Ideally, you could have your own private, customized search engine across all of your cloud content, and that’s exactly what a new class of solutions provide.
With Acembly or Aparavi on Backblaze, you can build content indexes and offer deep search across all of your content, and automatically apply policy rules for management and retention.
Where Are You in the Cloud Collaboration Trend?
The trend to mobile, always-on workers building and sharing ever more sophisticated content around cloud storage as a shared hub is only accelerating. Users love the freedom to create, collaborate and share content anywhere. Businesses love the benefits of having all of that content in an easily managed repository that makes their entire business more flexible and less expensive to operate.
So, while device manufacturers like Apple may announce exciting Pro level workstations, the need for companies and teams to collaborate and be effective on the move is an even more important and compelling issue than ever before. The cloud is an essential element of that trend that can’t be underestimated.
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