Personal Cloud Market

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Personal Cloud Market

by Faulkner Staff

Docid: 00021015

Publication Date: 2110

Report Type: MARKET


A "personal cloud" is an on-demand service that permits customers to
store, access, and share their own documents, photos, and other files
without necessarily using a computer system. Consumers can utilize personal
clouds to manage information anywhere and at anytime via a smartphone,
tablet, or other Internet-connected system. Likewise, businesses and organizations can employ personal clouds to
enable their workers to access and process business information. The
leading providers of personal cloud-based offerings include Amazon Web Services (AWS),
Apple, Dropbox, Google, and Microsoft. This report takes a more detailed look
at the personal cloud market, worldwide.

Report Contents:

Executive Summary

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The term "personal cloud" refers to an on-demand service that allows users to store, access, and share personal documents, photos, and files
without a computer system.

Faulkner Reports
Public Versus Private Clouds

Consumers can employ a personal cloud to remotely manage information, even
24×7 using virtually any device. At the same time, enterprise adopters can employ personal
clouds to provide users with access to – and the ability to process – business information.
Figure 1 illustrates a personal cloud.

Figure 1. Conceptual Representation of a Personal Cloud

Figure 1. Conceptual Representation of a Personal Cloud

Source: Web 2.0 Journal

Members of the personal cloud ecosystem can include – but are not limited to
– device manufacturers,
network providers, Internet service vendors, application developers, consumer
electronics producers, and personal cloud-based service providers. Some of the
more popular personal cloud service options include products from AWS, Apple,
Dropbox, Google, and Microsoft.


Personal clouds are seen as an outgrowth and natural
extension of the "Bring Your Own Device" – or "BYOD" – movement, in which
tech-savvy employees first tested their employers’ tolerance for the
introduction of nonstandard IT products and services in the workplace. More
specifically, this practice includes employee-owned, consumer-grade smartphones and tablets. Although many, if not most, enterprises now support BYOD, there is growing consensus that personal clouds, like
personal information devices, will soon fill the enterprise space.

For example,
employees who began using personal clouds such as Dropbox to store and sync their personal data are now, almost inevitably,
using personal clouds to store and manipulate business data, particularly
in the absence of some containerization option that effectively separates
home and office transactions. Since personal cloud providers tend to be particularly sensitive to security issues raised by
enterprise IT and compliance departments – the same issues that delayed
corporate acceptance of BYOD – many personal clouds are available in both consumer and business versions.


The global personal cloud market is projected now to grow to as high as $103.2
billion (2025), which would mark a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 24

Market Dynamics

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Personal clouds are also referred to as
personal cloud storage, mobile cloud storage, or pocket cloud storage.2 The widespread, nearly ubiquitous, use of multimedia smartphones
and tablets have produced a wealth of text, images, video, and other content
that must be securely stored and managed. Filling this need, a personal cloud is
a cloud-based service that permits customers to store, access, and share their
personal documents, photos, and other files without using a computer system. In particular, the service can be targeted toward:

  • Consumers – Manage personal information anywhere,
    anytime via a smartphone, tablet, or other Internet-connected system
  • Enterprise Adopters – Enable workers to access and
    process business information

While small-to-medium-sized enterprises may embrace the personal cloud
model as a low-cost means of establishing a private cloud network, larger
enterprises might understandably be concerned
about potential drawbacks such as:

  1. Data Security – Is business data stored on personal
    clouds protected against loss, theft, misappropriation, or other forms
    of compromise?
  2. Data Privacy – Is personally identifiable
    information being stored and processed on personal clouds and, if
    so, why?
  3. Data Backup – Is personal cloud business data being
    backed up to a secondary personal cloud?
  4. Business Continuity – Is business data stored on
    personal clouds readily retrievable in the event of a disaster?
  5. Regulatory Compliance – Are healthcare and other
    protected classes of data residing on personal clouds?
  6. e-Discovery Production – Can business data be
    produced on demand from a personal cloud in response to a court order?
  7. Lifecycle Management – Can business data on a
    personal cloud be managed in accordance with enterprise data retention
    and disposition policies?

Market Leaders

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Personal cloud services provide what Microsoft calls online storage to
help make it "easy to manage your work files, share them, and collaborate with
others from anywhere."3 Leading providers in the personal cloud market include:

  • Amazon Drive
  • Apple iCloud
  • Dropbox
  • Google Drive
  • Microsoft OneDrive

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A number of emerging trends have emerged in this specialized market in
recent years, including:

  • Potential changes in revenue-generation methods, from monthly / annual
    subscription fees toward advertising and lead-generation.4
  • Continued growth due to data-access demands, particularly in the mobile
    device space and on-demand software and service product categories.
  • Continued market dominance by Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Dropbox for the
    immediate future, in large part due to "flexible packages" and
    "affordable pricing."5
  • Continued shifts away from traditional hard drive storage due to
    "towering" demand for storage, growing device use, and ongoing
    disaster-recovery needs.6
  • Largest inhibitor to market growth being "lack of awareness."7

Strategic Planning Implications

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The majority of enterprise officials who opposed the BYOD movement
quickly discovered that resistance was futile, as, in many cases, permitting employees to use their personal smartphone or
tablet can actually increase personal productivity. Therefore, it is safe to assume that
many organizations will continue to augment information infrastructure with personal
cloud-based services.

From a planning perspective, enterprise officials should always survey their
employees to determine:

  1. Which of any commercial clouds (Amazon, Microsoft, Dropbox, etc.) do
    employees presently use or favor? Existing familiarity will reduce onboarding
    times and IT asset consumption caused by subsequent service requests and
  2. Which factors inform the selection of a personal cloud-based service?
    This includes cost, available capacity, on-demand scalability, and other
    important metrics.
  3. Which personal cloud features and functions may be considered
    mandatory, nice-to-have, and optional? A prioritized list of features based on
    IT and personnel priorities can help inform purchasing decisions and reduce
    unnecessary spending on unwanted features.
  4. Which, if any, business data do employees currently store on personal
    clouds? For what purpose? With what protection? This ties into the
    first point, and also plays a major role in how secure employee's personal
    and company-owned data will be based around their specific competencies
    relating to the product selected.
  5. If the enterprise implemented its own personal cloud, could employees
    migrate their business data to the enterprise cloud? If not, why not? A personal
    cloud can be a value-friendly option, but only if it does not introduce
    unacceptable security and usability risks to ongoing business processes.

Armed with these answers, the enterprise will likely be positioned to select a
business- or enterprise-grade cloud service for all employees, thereby
eliminating the need for individual employees to store and process
vulnerable business data on their own personal cloud (or clouds).

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1 "At 23.9% CAGR, Personal Cloud Market to Values USD 103.16 Billion
by 2025: Types, Trends, Size, Share, Industry Insights, Trends and Forecast up
to 2025." MarketWatch. September 8, 2020.
2 “Personal Cloud Market – Growth, Trends, Forecast, Demand, Outlook
by 2019.” Transparency Market Research. September 19, 2016.
3 "OneDrive for Business." Microsoft. 2017.
4 "World Personal Cloud Market – Opportunities and Forecasts, 2014 -2020." Allied Market
Research. September 2015.
5 Rana, Priya. “Personal Cloud Market Is Expected to Reach $89.9
Billion, Globally, by 2020 – Allied Market Research.” HPC ASIA. November 18,
6-7 "Personal Cloud Market Is Booming Due to Growing Penetration
of Electronic Devices." MarketWatch. August 23, 2019.

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