Personal Cloud Services Emerge To Orchestrate Our Mobile Computing Lives

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Nov 24, 2013 (3 years and 7 months ago)

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A Forrester Consulting Thought Leadership Paper Commissioned By SugarSync
Personal Cloud Services Emerge To Orchestrate Our
Mobile Computing Lives
File Access, Sync and Share Services Grew From 9% Of Online Adults In 2010 To 15% In 2012 To Become
The Fastest Growing Personal Cloud Service
July 2012


Forrester Consulting
Personal Cloud Services Emerge To Orchestrate Our Mobile Computing Lives
Page 1
Table Of Contents
Executive Summary .............................................................................................................
.................................................................... 2

People Now Use Many PCs, Devices, And Services For Work And Home ..............................................................
................... 2

Personal Cloud Services Will Orch
estrate Our Digital
Experiences ..............................................................
................................ 3

In 2012, US Personal Clou
d Use Is Now Mainstream --
- And 15% Use File Sync ....................................................................... 6

What IT Means ----
- Personal Cloud Services Will Transform Personal Computing ................................................................ 14

Appendix A: Methodology .......................................................................................................
........................................................... 15

Appendix B: Endnotes ..........................................................................................................
................................................................ 15

© 2012, Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited. Information is based on
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Opinions reflect judgment at the time and are subject to change. Forrester
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About Forrester Consulting

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s. Ranging in
scope from a short strategy session to custom projects, Forreste
r’s Consulting services connect you directly with research anal
ysts who apply
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.
Forrester Consulting
Personal Cloud Services Emerge To Orchestrate Our Mobile Computing Lives
Page 2
Executive Summary
Personal cloud services are transforming personal computing, as US individuals move to store their files on online
services accessible from any device, rather than fiddle with files to get them on the right PC or mobile device of the
moment. In January 2012, SugarSync commissioned Forrester
Consulting to evaluate the
growth of personal cloud
services in the U.S. based on Forrester’s personal cloud reports from 2009 and 2011. We screened 2,136 US online
adults to find 1,380 users of various types of personal clou
d services to determine current use and compare with initial
adoption rates from Forrester’s 2010 survey. Of these 1,380 users, 1,100 used at least one of the most popular service
categories we focused on, and 529 of these personal cloud users completed the full survey.
Key Findings
Forrester’s study yielded five key findings:
x

File sync services crossed the chasm in early 2011, and are exploding in 2012.
File access, sync, and share
adoption grew by two thirds from 9% of U.S. online ad
ults in 2010 to 15% in 2012 to become the fastest-growing
online file service category, ahead of both online backup and web-based office productivity. We estimate
adoption to have surpassed 10% of U.S. online adults in
early 2011, implying hyper-growth this year and next.
x

Two-thirds of US online ad
ults are using at least one form of a
broad range of person
al cloud services.
For
photos, files, information, media, password services, contac
ts, or calendaring, two out of three U.S. online adults
are using at least one of this broad range of personal cloud services.
x

Mobile device proliferation is driving daily use of the personal cloud.
Using multiple PCs has motivated many
to try personal cloud services, but mobile devices up th
e ante. Fifty-eight percent of personal cloud users with
smartphones use personal cloud services daily or hourly.
x

US online adults are blending
work and personal technologies.
Almost half of personal cloud services are used
for blended work and personal purposes.
x

Users and their employers are paying for personal cloud services.
Almost one in five personal cloud services is
being paid for, showing that users find the
services valuable enough to spend money.
People Now Use Many PCs, Devices, And Services For Work And Home
Personal computers started out simple enough ----
- you used only one, probably at
work. Then, PCs got more useful and
the Internet arrived, and people got a PC at home as well.
And interesting online services grew up that offered news
portals, search engines, web mail, social networking, and more. Smartphones arrived, then tablets. Now individuals find
themselves using multiple PCs and mobile devices, adding In
ternet-connected devices such
as TVs, game consoles, and
printers, and using tens of online In
ternet accounts. How commo
n is this? Forrester has surveyed consumers and
information workers (employees who use a PC or mobile device
for work an hour or more per day) to find out. As of
2010, we estimated that more than half of US online adults
used two or more PCs and smartphones, and that two-thirds
Forrester Consulting
Personal Cloud Services Emerge To Orchestrate Our Mobile Computing Lives
Page 3
will by 2016.
1
When we surveyed almost 10,000 of the most intensive computing users, global information workers, we
learned that:
2

x

More than half of information workers use three or more computing devices for work.
Our survey
inventoried both personally purchased and work-issued PCs, tablets and smartphones, and the degree to which
each device was used for work and for
personal use. Surprisingly
, 52% used at least three of these devices for work
regularly ----
- and 34% used four or more. So keeping track of which gadget has that overdue report or the
babysitter’s phone number is challenging for hundreds of millions of workers across the globe.
x

One-quarter of devices used by information workers are smartphones and tablets rather than PCs.
Although
mobile devices seem like a recent invention, they’re al
ready one-fourth of the overall devices used for work.
3

Laptops are another 40% of the total, meaning almost two-
thirds of the computing devices used by info workers
are portable. Therefore, keeping track of where information
is kept on these devices is complicated by frequently
switching devices and referencing multiple devices throughout a busy day on the go.

x

Information workers mix work and personal use on 60% of the PCs and mobile devices they use.
With busy
lives and multiple computing devices, information workers have taken a pragmatic approach to managing work
and personal computing and information. They mix work and personal use on 60% of the devices they use.
4
Only
14% of devices are used strictly for work and 26% are purely personal use.
Personal Cloud Services Will Or
chestrate Our Digital Experiences
The growth of a rich personal computing ecosystem of PCs, mobile devices, Internet-connected appliances, and a
myriad of online services is spurring the transformation
of personal computing into a personal cloud services
ecosystem, which we predicted in 2009 and spelled out in a detailed forecast in 2011.
5
We define the personal cloud as:
‘‘A set of personal devices and federated online services, config
ured and controlled by individuals, which: 1) Organizes and
preserves personal or work information,
documents, media, and communications; 2)
orchestrates integration of personal
information across digital devices and online services; and 3)
delivers that information to any device or service.’’
Although this vision is not fully realized today, many of
the initial services and use cases already exist. Ultimately,
individuals will set up and link several of these online servic
es into their own personal cloud that organizes, preserves,
and orchestrates their personal and work data cross their digi
tal lives. Forrester believes personal cloud services will be
much more than just online file storage. The four key cate
gories of information around which people are building their
own personal cloud are (see Figure 1):
x

Email, plus contacts and calendar.
This is part of the personal clou
d, but it’s not enough by itself
.
In surveys,
Forrester doesn’t count web mail accounts as personal cloud
use, even though it’s a core part of an individual’s
personal cloud experience, because it’s so broadly used. For most individuals, online communications is their
most important Internet capability and the most importan
t repository of information. Contacts go hand-in-hand
with email. Digital calendaring, although not as widely us
ed yet, is also inextricably linked with communications.
This triad creates a foundation on which add-on services will be built. Why email, plus contacts and calendars?
Because it’s very time-consuming to no
tify friends and institutions to switch
over to a new email address. And for
Forrester Consulting
Personal Cloud Services Emerge To Orchestrate Our Mobile Computing Lives
Page 4
most people it’s complex to figure out how to set up a ne
w email service to retrieve email from a previous service,
if it’s allowed at all. So changing email addresses or hosters is a pain that most users will avoid.
x

File access, sharing, sync, and backup.
Although many people move and preserve a key file by emailing it to
themselves, that’s not a scalable or easily organized appr
oach. Many online services have been created to host
personal files on a website, automatically synch folders of fi
les to all registered PCs and devices, back up part or all
of your device(s) to protect against loss
, and more. All of these services are bu
ilt on the idea of making your files
available instantly or on demand from any Internet-connected device, at any time, even if a device fails or is lost.
Making files independent of any one device or online service is transformational ----
- it’s like the move from
keeping cash in your mattress to keeping your money in
a modern, networked bank that is accessible from all
over the world via ATM and wire transfer.
x

Information management of notes, clippings,
financial info, health records, and documents.
Some types of
information don’t lend themselves to files or are better or
ganized within a specialized application or service. So
note-taking applications and online services record and
organize sophisticated note taking, audio recording, web
clipping, and images in a native app that also syncs all yo
ur content to an online serv
ice that synchs the data to
your other devices. Financial and health records are best in online services that link to industry systems for
additional information and help. Digital filing systems sp
ecialize in storing document formats such as PDF to
enable a digital filing cabinet for organizing and searching documents in ways that go beyond the capabilities of
the PC file system. Online office productivity services
are another variation on this idea, with document storage
integrated with work processing, spreadsheets, and presentation tools that work in a web browser.
x

Personal media, including
photos, music, and videos.
For many of us, personal photos are some of the most
precious keepsakes ----
- but they can be easily lost with the failure of
a hard drive or theft of a laptop. So online
sharing and storage of photos has become very popular in specialized photo services and in social networks ----
-
some individuals use file sync services while others use
photo-specific services. Similarly, many people really
value personally created music and videos as well as the
commercial music and videos they buy. Online services
from major computer companies and cont
ent providers enable people to search, buy, store, and organize their
media for playback and sharing.
Forrester Cons
u
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u
Page 5
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Forrester Consulting
Personal Cloud Services Emerge To Orchestrate Our Mobile Computing Lives
Page 6
x

Almost one-third of US online adults used on
e or more personal cloud service in late 2010.
Overall about 28%
of the US online adult population was using at least one
personal cloud service for office productivity, file store
and sync, or online backup ----
- which translates to 68 million people. For
file, media, and information access, sync
and share services, about 9% of US online adults were using such services.
x

In 2010, adoption of personal cloud services wa
s higher among US information workers, at 41%.
For file sync,
6% of information workers reported using these services
. Overall, information workers were about half again
more likely to be using personal cl
oud services, at 41% of all US inform
ation workers. And 5% of information
workers were using three or more personal cloud service types.
In 2012, US Personal Cloud Use Is Now
Mainstream – And 15
% Use File Sync
To learn more about how personal cloud users are using th
e services, we screened 2,136 respondents and found 1,380
who were using one or more of a broad range of personal
cloud services, including fi
le sync. With the screening
questions we were able to determine what proportion of US
online adults are using personal cloud services today. We
also collected details on the blend of work and personal use and the degree to which US adults are paying for personal
cloud services. We learned that:
x

In 2012, two-thirds of US online adults now use at le
ast one of the many forms of personal cloud services.
We
questioned US online adults on use of
a variety of categories of personal cloud services, from file storage for
synching and/or web access among PCs and mobile devices,
to contacts, to photo display or storage services, and
found that 65% of US online adults are using at least on
e such service, excluding use of web mail (see Figure 2).
Note that our 2010 survey did not include photos, but this
survey does, so the overall personal cloud adoption
numbers are not directly comparable. Regardless, it’s pretty remarkable that two-thirds of all online adults are
using one or more personal cloud services today --
- and that 15% are using file storage service for sync or web
access, compared to the 9% in the 2010 survey of individuals.
x

Adoption of file access, sync and
share personal cloud services accelerated in the past two years.
We can
compare changes in adoption for some specific service ty
pes across the two surveys. In 2010, 9% of US online
adults were using file, media, and information syncing serv
ices; by 2012, 15% were using a file storage service for
syncing and/or web access, which is two
thirds increase in just two years.
We asked about types of personal data that personal clou
d users were storing online now, and in 2010, we learned
that users of each five types of information grew 43%, to
86%, depending on category (see Figure 3). As a result,
Forrester believes that strong growth in personal cloud adoption will continue.
Forrester Consulting
Personal Cloud Services Emerge To Orchestrate Our Mobile Computing Lives
Page 7
Figure 2
Two-Thirds Of US Online Adults Use Personal Cloud Services

Base: 2,136 US online adults 18+ screen
ed for this personal cloud user survey
Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forreste
r Consulting on behalf of SugarSync, April 2012
44%
40%
19%
15%
15%
10%
6%
5%
Contacts and calendars in an online service
Photo display or storage online service
Web-based office productivity and document sharing
Music or video digital locker on a website
File storage service for synching and/or web access
among your PCs and mobile devices
Mobile device or PC online backup service
File sending service, instead of email attachments
Information management service to capture and save
digital notes and information
“Which of these online or Internet services do you personally use for home or for work, excluding what your
employer gives you? Select all that apply.”
65% of US online adults 18+
use one or more services
26% of US online adults 18+ use
1 or more online file services
Forrester Consulting
Personal Cloud Services Emerge To Orchestrate Our Mobile Computing Lives
Page 8
Figure 3
Personal Cloud Users Are Increasingly Storing Me
dia And Work Documents In Online Services

Base: 529 US online adults aged 18 and
over who use personal cloud service(s)
Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forreste
r Consulting on behalf of SugarSync, April 2012
x

Smartphones and tablets edge out PCs for most
frequently used devices for personal cloud.
The rise of mobile
devices over the past four years has fueled demand for personal cloud services. Indeed, 22% of personal cloud
users with smartphones report using their personal cloud se
rvice hourly, 58% use it at least daily, and 69% use it
at least weekly (see Figure 4). When we asked personal cl
oud users about what devices they use regularly for work
or personal use, 35% reported they use two or more mobile devices, 79% use two or more PCs, and 92% use one
or more external storage devices (see Figure 5).

Growth
“Which of the following categories of personal data are you storing in online or Internet services?
Select all that apply.

14%
42%
38%
30%
28%
20%
68%
66%
54%
53%
Personal identity/financial information
(e.g., driver’s license, passport, birth
certificatate, Social Security Number, tax
returns, banking/credit card information)
Personal documents (e.g., Word, Excel
files, PDFs, contacts, calendars)
Photos
Work documents (e.g., Word, Excel
files, PDFs, contacts, calendars)
Media (e.g., video, music, eBook files)
Today (2012)
2 years ago (2010)
86%
80%
74%
63%
43%
Forrester Consulting
Personal Cloud Services Emerge To Orchestrate Our Mobile Computing Lives
Page 9
Figure 4
Personal Cloud Users Reach For Mobile Devices More
Often Than PCs To Access Personal Cloud Services

Base: US online adults aged 18 and over who use personal cloud service(s) and the computing devices indicated above
Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forreste
r Consulting on behalf of SugarSync, April 2012
“For the devices and services you said you use for work or personal, how often do you use one or more of these online
service on each device?”
22%
12%
13%
15%
36%
42%
40%
34%
Smartphone (N = 401)
Tablet (N = 182)
Laptop/ultrabook/netbook PC (N = 469)
Desktop/all-in-one PC (N = 409)
Hourly
Daily
Forrester Consulting
Personal Cloud Services Emerge To Orchestrate Our Mobile Computing Lives
Page 10
Figure 5
A Staggering Three-Fourths Of Pe
rsonal Cloud Users Are Juggling Th
ree Or More Computing Devices

Base: 529 US online adults aged 18 and over who use personal cloud service(s)
Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forreste
r Consulting on behalf of SugarSync, April 2012
x

US individuals are paying for personal cloud services and getting their employers to chip in.
Despite a
plethora of free options, US online adults are seeing
value in premium services and are willing to pay for
enhancements to workflow and user ex
perience. For file sync, share, and access, 16% of users pay for file sync
services, with 7% paying themselves, and 9% having their company pay. Overall, about 37% of personal cloud
users report having paid for at least one service they used
last year, and 42% plan to do so this year. When we
studied the average personal cloud user’s inventory of services, we found that nearly one in five are paid for.
About 11% are paid for directly out of pocket, and 7% ar
e paid for by employers, either directly or through
reimbursement (see Figure 6).
“How many of the following devices do you regularly use for any purpose, at home or at work?”
35%
17%
6%
21%
26%
20%
22%
49%
74%
Internet connected devices (Internet-
enabled printers & scanners, smart
TVs, eReaders)
Storage devices (USB devices, external
drives)
Computing devices
(Smartphones, tablets, laptop/ultrabook/
netbook PCs, desktop/all-in-one PCs)
One
Two
Three or more

35% use 2+ mobile devices

79% use 2+ PCs

92% use 1+ external storage
devices
Forrester Consulting
Personal Cloud Services Emerge To Orchestrate Our Mobile Computing Lives
Page 11
Figure 6
Nearly One In Five Personal Cloud Servic
es Are Paid For, With Employers Payi
ng For More Than One-Third Of Them

Base: Weighted average of responses by 529 US online adults aged 18 and over who use personal cloud service(s)
Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forreste
r Consulting on behalf of SugarSync, April 2012
x

Work use is a real driver for personal cloud services.
About 47% of personal cloud services reported by personal
cloud users blend work and personal usage. When we remove media-oriented services from the set of services
and analyze those that provide sync, sharing, backup, an
d web access capabilities for notes and documents, the
result for blended work and personal use is 60% (see Figu
re 7). File sync, share, and access respondents report
that they blend work and personal, demonstrating that many apply the convenience of file sync at work and at
home.
1%
-3%
6%
11%
-30%
-50%
I pay, but my company reimburses me
Other/don't know
My company pays for the service directly
I pay most/all the cost
There is only a free version
I choose the free version
18% of service categories used by
respondents are paid for!
61% of purchased services are paid for
directly by users.
39% are reimbursed or paid for directly
by companies.
“Who pays for the service you use?”
(Average personal cloud user’s inventory of services)
Forrester Consulting
Personal Cloud Services Emerge To Orchestrate Our Mobile Computing Lives
Page 12
Figure 7
About Half Of All Personal Cloud User’s Devices an
d Services Are Used Both
For Work And Personal Use

Base: Weighted average of responses by 529 US online adults aged
18 and over who use personal cloud service(s) and the computin
g devices
indicated above
Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forreste
r Consulting on behalf of SugarSync, April 2012
x

Photos and file store/sync are the bigge
st drivers of personal cloud overall.
Among personal cloud users,
storing and sharing photos is the most common use case, at 90%, with file store/sync used by 51% of personal
cloud users (see Figure 8). The remaining four use cases ar
e all strong, with online device backup the lowest, at
25%. It’s interesting to see how powerful
the appeal of photo shar
ing is compared with the everyday practical use
of file store/sync, office productivity,
information management, and file sharing.

Blended
work and
personal,
47%
Work
only, 3%
Personal
only, 48%
Don't
use, 2%
Personal cloud services
“Do you use the technology you indicated
above for work or personal purposes?”
(Average personal cloud user’s inventory of personal cloud services and computing devices)
Blended
work and
personal,
58%
Work
only, 4%
Personal
only, 38%
Computing devices
60% when
removing media-
oriented services
Forrester Consulting
Personal Cloud Services Emerge To Orchestrate Our Mobile Computing Lives
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Figure 8
Photos And File Store/Sync Drive Pe
rsonal Cloud Use Among Those Who Use
Any Of Six Personal Cloud Services
Base: 529 US
online adults aged 18 and over who use personal cloud service(s)
Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forreste
r Consulting on behalf of SugarSync, April 2012
“How do you do the following?”
Percent of personal cloud user respondents using personal cloud services to do the following activities:
90%
51%
43%
42%
39%
25%
Store and share photos
Store and access your files on multiple PCs,
smartphones, or tablets
Edit and store work or personal documents (office
productivity)
Share files (not including photos) with others
Capture and save digital notes and information
Back up your most important PC, smartphone, or
tablet
Forrester Consulting
Personal Cloud Services Emerge To Orchestrate Our Mobile Computing Lives
Page 14
WHAT IT MEANS — PERSONAL CLOUD SERV
ICES WILL TRANSFORMPERSONAL COMPUTING
US online adults are already moving away from the PC-centric
model where all their digital information is stored on their
PC(s). Forrester’s survey shows that two-th
irds of US individuals now store photos, files, information, or media in at least on
e
online service, up dramatically in just 18 months. Over the next
five years, these shifts in behaviors will lead to big changes

in personal computing, as:
x

Personal cloud services become central to
personal computing and digital experience.
Rather than buying a
bigger hard drive or a home server to keep track of their
growing digital content, individuals will store most of their
digital information in personal cloud se
rvices, just as they store money in ba
nks and mutual fund companies. Buyers
will identify less with the brand of their devices or operating system and more with the brand of their personal
cloud service.
x

Individuals choose PCs and devices based on personal cl
oud compatibility rather than just cool hardware.

With a growing body of digital content and history in thei
r personal cloud services, individuals will begin to shift
their buying criteria. Rather than focu
s first on exciting industrial design or the latest operating system version,
buyers will start with products that offer the best experi
ence and integration with th
eir personal cloud services
before they consider other factors. So
device and OS makers will either issue their own cloud services or partner
closely with a personal cloud service to
increase buyer consideration. It’s
the same phenomenon as sports fans
searching for TV service — first they determine which pr
oviders carry their team’s games, then they consider
among that narrower list of options.
x

Personal cloud services focus on lifelong
service to customers, spanning jobs.
Personal cloud services are very
sticky, because it is painful to move photos, files, and in
formation from one service to the next — and it may be
impractical or impossible to move purchased commercial cont
ent such as digital books or movies, where there are
not universal formats as there is with music. So personal
cloud services will focus on capturing customers early,
while they’re still in school, and growing with them ac
ross the arc of their lives. We’ll see support for careful
integration with and separation of employer digital conten
t and systems, so people can focus on getting their work
done.
x

IT organizations will support integration
with employee personal cloud services.
Corporate servers become
one node of a federated information environment — they’re no
longer the solitary central hub for work file storage.
When employees start a new job, they’ll expect to be able
to link up their personal cl
oud services, with appropriate
controls, in the same spirit that they
often use their car to drive to meetings
for work or take paper files home for
some evening catch-up work. “It should just work” is th
e new benchmark for enterprise technology — so IT will
support and plug into personal cloud services by sharing
access with employees that can be turned off once they
leave the company.
x

Tablets and smartphones will motivate increasing nu
mbers of users to try personal cloud services.
The
original motivation was more about multiple PCs, both at
home and at work. Smartphones prompt growing interest
in personal cloud for photos and files. But tablets are a
bigger driver. The larger screen and the temptation to use
the tablet instead of a laptop in some situations really drives
tablet users to seek out pers
onal cloud services to ease
integration of their digital content across PCs and tablets.


Forrester Consulting
Personal Cloud Services Emerge To Orchestrate Our Mobile Computing Lives
Page 15
Appendix A: Methodology
In this study, Forrester conducted an onli
ne survey of 529 Internet user 18 years of
age or older in the United States to
evaluate the emergence of the personal cloud market. Questi
ons provided to the participants asked how often they are
engaging with personal cloud, the drivers of using personal cloud, and the importance of mobility on their decision to
leverage the personal cloud. The study began in
January 2012 and was completed in June 2012.
Appendix B: Endnotes

1
Source: ‘‘The Personal Cloud: Transforming Personal Computing, Mobile, And Web Markets,’’ Forrester Research,
Inc., June 6, 2011.
2
The rise of mobile devices and broadband Internet access
at home are driving new behaviors by information workers.
Our surveys of almost 10,000 global info
rmation workers and 2,300 IT hardware de
cision-makers enable us to quantify
how info workers are using many devices for work purposes and blending work and personal use across their full set of
devices. We quantify the portion of workers who report sp
ending personal funds for specific device types and the
amount of spending they control. This report suggests how
technology markets will evolve as a result, and it gives
examples of how vendor strategists can plan for and take
advantage of the new market
conditions. Source: ‘‘Info
Workers Using Mobile And Personal Devi
ces For Work Will Transform Personal Tech Markets,’’ Forrester Research,
Inc., February 22, 2012.
3
Source: ‘‘Info Workers Using Mobile
And Personal Devices For Work Will
Transform Personal Tech Markets,’’
Forrester Research, Inc., February 22, 2012.
4
In late 2011, we surveyed almost 10,000 information wo
rkers, or full time employed adults who use a computing
device for at least an hour a day to do their job, across
17 countries in North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia-
Pacific, and Russia. Source: ‘‘Info Wo
rkers Using Mobile And Personal Devi
ces For Work Will Transform Personal
Tech Markets,’’ Forrester Research, Inc., February 22, 2012.
5
Source: ‘‘The Personal Cloud: Transforming Personal Computing, Mobile, And Web Markets,’’ Forrester Research,
Inc., June 6, 2011.
6
Source: ‘‘The Personal Cloud: Transforming Personal Computing, Mobile, And Web Markets,’’ Forrester Research,
Inc., June 6, 2011.