March 5, 2014
[Written with Nate Fleming, Research Associate]
We all use a multitude of personal cloud apps, both at work and at home. But getting meaningful tasks accomplished can be frustrating, particularly on mobile, as files, data, and workflows fragment across the various services we use. Take for example finalizing and signing a contract on iOS. This would involve fetching a document from email, annotating it, signing it, and sending it back to the client. Today, no one app can do all that, and iOS and Android offers very limited data-interoperability functionality with both Open In and Android Intent features.
We’re seeing three types of personal cloud startups emerging to offering capabilities to link across apps, services and devices:
- Access: search, unified visibility, and portability for files, photos, and information. Younity networks and delivers content across your devices using P2P technology. And Otixo facilitates data interoperability across cloud services within a virtual file system-type interface. Simply drag and drop to move files from one service to another.
- Interconnection: tasks and data flows that use info from multiple services. Ink facilitates workflows as an alternative to iOS’s Open In.
- Collaboration: process-centered experiences for workflow that span apps. Hojoki abstracts collaboration functionality as a layer on top of data stored on personal cloud services, enabling team members to contribute to shared documents, assign tasks, and stay up-to-date.
To learn more about the startups mentioned above, see our recent report Pioneer Vendors: Personal Cloud.