This week another nail in the coffin for the corporate firewall arrived – Microsoft Word for iPad.
From a business perspective, prior to the new App, my mobile device was in all essence a read-only device, keeping me in touch with the office on the move. Sure, I could take pictures and compose unformatted text; sure, there are some great Apps like Evernote. But my ability to manipulate Office documents (defacto business standard) was very limited. PowerPoints did not work well either, so I would typically have to plan in advance and convert to PDF or KeyNote – being careful to test as the conversions did not always work, and animations would not transfer.
With the MS Word App, I am now able to view (and manipulate) PowerPoints properly. This is convenient, but the much bigger step forward, is I can now read and edit marked-up Word documents; this may seem a small thing, the impact is large – I can now do a core function of my job (commenting on and reviewing documents) efficiently on the road, without my PC.
So this, combined with other tools, now gives me a business environment where I access my email from the Cloud, access my business collaboration platform from the Cloud, access the CRM from the Cloud and now removed reliance on my office provided PC for my day-to-day activities, instead using a mobile device that never connects to the corporate LAN.
Whenever I have talked about my ‘cloudification’, I get asked am I worried about security?
Yes, I am. But from my perspective I cannot see that I am any better or worse off – just exposed to a different set of risks. One risk I am no longer worried about is the corporate LAN.
The corporate LAN has become irrelevant to me, I have virtually no use for it. So it makes me question, why do I need a corporate firewall? Some may call me slow on the uptake, Jericho has been talking about de-perimterisation for many years but it seems to me their vision is becoming a reality – it is for me at least.