In the Enterprise of yesteryear, Information Management was typically an either/or proposition.

Either IT was happy or end users were happy, but rarely both at the same time. Someone, at either end of the equation, almost always ended up bald; not from alopecia, but from pulling their hair out in frustration because of something done (or not done) by the other.

A Cloud for Everyone?

But those days are now over. Not only are there hair plugs and Rogaine, but everyone’s also busy dancing together in the Nirvana of the Cloud. IT delivered consumer-style is a given. Trouble-free anywhere, anytime, access to your documents and other content via the device of your choice is always an option, right?

Maybe not.

Or at least, not so much, in some highly regulated industries where the only mobile device commonly used to access enterprise information is a laptop.

No doubt this frustrates workers who choose to comply with corporate polices and rules and who also, in their personal lives, enjoy accessing content like music, movies, receipts and so on via iPads or Android phones. “We can do all of that and we don’t even have an IT department,” they say.

Ditto for the would-be rule breakers who discover that their employers have blocked their access to services like Box and Dropbox.

Both groups are troubled by the fact that they’re stuck in the dark ages because their companies must comply with long-standing corporate governance and data sovereignty policies regarding storage and handling of files that make cloud-based storage solutions difficult to deploy at enterprise-scale.

“Get with it IT,” they want to say. “You can do anything in the cloud that you can do on the ground.”

But “there are certain things that SaaS and storing files on the cloud is not a good fit for”, says Terri McClure, a Senior Analyst at the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), a leading IT research, analysis and strategy firm. She cites personal health records as an example. Both in Canada and in many European countries, these types of files and their data must by law stay in the country, according to McClure, which makes lobbing them up and onto the Cloud, and storing them wherever, a lousy option.

This leaves IT Managers, CIOs and even their bosses between a rock and a hard place; on one hand they are charged with complying with the rules and on the other delivering a delightful, consumer-like experience to end users (in this case that would mean mobile access from a cloud-based file-sharing service).