03/01/2013 05:32 GMT | Updated 04/03/2013 05:12 GMT

To Cloud or Not to Cloud? That Is the Question

Every year, since it first crept into the media agenda, cloud computing has been the core of surveys, polls and in-depth research. Who has adopted? Who hasn't? And where is the future of cloud computing taking us? If you haven't seen the research, you've probably read the headlines. Five years on from its debut in the spotlight and it is still being described as "the next big thing". Its celebrity status amongst the IT world certainly has caused a stir and has left many debating whether it's worth adopting or not.

The wonders of free consumer cloud tools such as Dropbox and Skydrive have allowed people to exchange and store file upon file. This is especially helpful for the remote worker and the BYOD worker, who can access corporate data from outside of the four walls of the office. However, whilst these tools seem heaven-sent for employees who can enjoy the luxury of accessing data at any time, the reality for the IT department can be much more like a nightmare.

As the cloud fad sweeps the workforce, employees are blissfully unaware of the potential harm it's doing to organisations. Many employees are using Dropbox to share files which, if intercepted or lost, could be extremely damning. Better yet, many employees will access these tools on a personal device such as an iPad or smartphone. These devices are much easier to lose or misplace than a laptop.

IT departments and C-level executives then have the fear that this information has fallen into the wrong hands or is totally lost and cannot be recovered - an extremely worrying circumstance for any organisation to find themselves in. Be patient with them and work with them as they extend security policies to the cloud.

So, while employees enjoy the free cloud playground, it's important for them to remember that with every corporate file shared, someone could be watching, waiting to intercept.