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Cloud Storage: Heaven or Just Another Rainy Day?

Many people view cloud storage as a gift from heaven. People have wholeheartedly embraced it because it streamlines workflow and makes work life easier. Without even having to think about it, BYOD and cloud solutions offer people the simplicity of checking their email on their phone and the ability to log in and do, save and share work from anywhere they happen to be.

For users and employers alike, this seems to be a clear cut win-win situation in increased productivity. After all, users want these services:  Dropbox, Google -Drive, Evernote and all of the other cloud-based services that are easy to use and universally compatible with applications. Plus, they don’t have to worry about complying with a complex IT department’s corporate system full of regulations. And for employers, the cloud offers a tool to keep workflow and productivity high in the ever-increasing mobile and remote work environment.

While constant access and ease-of-use offer quite obvious benefits, that doesn’t mean cloud storage is the be-all-to-end-all of enterprise solutions.  Everyone’s familiar with the phrase, ‘Where is that @#$%&! Document? I swear I saved it somewhere… ” It is all very well having a large amount of storage for all of your information, but can you access it easily? Or do you need to army crawl through a large file system just to get one file?  We have fully embraced cloud storage and we often store and share our content in multiple clouds, on mobile devices, in email programs, and on desktops, making the task of finding something quickly increasingly impossible. Ease-of-access is very important when thinking in terms of productivity. No matter how accessible cloud storage is, if you can’t actually locate your information, then it isn’t very useful.

That is why search matters. So we can locate what we need, when we need it, and get the job done, assuming we are using an expert search capability. It only stands to reason that applying federated search to the post-cloud work environment, where we have files stored in multiple places, is the next step in increasing work productivity. Federated search, or the ability to search multiple sources, organically supports workflow in the manner that we work today. It is an enterprise, not web-centric, approach to search. Moreover, with federated de-duplicated results, users do not receive thousands of irrelevant documents or emails. Because users can simultaneously search across multiple applications with just one query, federated search is a natural fit for working remotely and from various computers and devices, especially when some of the content is stored in the cloud. Only when we increase the accuracy of our search, and not just the mere access to our information, will it be a bright sunny day in which we will get even better and increased efficiency results with documents in the cloud. 

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