Almost every IT company tries to lure customers to their cloud. The goal is to lock in the customers to a proprietary scheme much like Microsoft or Apple have done successfully. Once you have stored your data and use proprietary applications on their platforms you probably will not be able to move to another cloud platform. You can also expect that most of the cloud platforms will be closed down because they cannot work profitable or have chosen the wrong technologies. Early Google customers have been caught several times on systems which Google gave up after a couple of years.
Private users, professionals, small groups (friends, family, SMBs) want to store their data for a long time (> 20 years) and want to control the access to the data personally. You really can’t trust Apple, Facebook, Google and others not to change their mode of operation, security models and last not least their business model. Typically all the services are free till the users are trapped. However, after a couple of years high services high fees are asked for.
Therefore the strategy of users should be store and administer their data themselves on systems they control e.g. on a home server or on a trusted platform maintained by a service provider of their choice. The platform should provide secure access from multiple devices via private networks and the web much like today with local PC networks connected to the web. This provides also a smooth migration path from todays PC based home and SMB.
I am using a hosted Sharepoint Server as platform to store data to be shared between users and devices. Sharepoint provides user (groups) and security management as well as public and private web sites and a communication and collaboration platform. My Sharepoint Server is hosted by a very reliable Sharepoint hoster in Switzerland, because Switzerland offers a very good legal system for protection of private data. For about 150 $/year the Sharepoint Server can support easily 100 users. Thus the cost/user are really low. Most Sharepoint functions can be used with a standard browser on mobile devices. However, the user interfaces are not really friendly on mobile devices. It is recommended to design a couple of „mobile friendly“ (Example) Sharepoint pages on web sites. Users can access the Sharepoint Server without buying special apps for the mobile devices keeping the cost especially for casual users really low. There are also a number of free Sharepoint clients available for iOS (Colligo, Sharekami Video. SharePlus) . There are also some clients available on Android.
The browser interface to Sharepoint does not support interaction with data on iOS devices. You cannot upload documents and photos directly from the iPhone or interact efficiently with the Sharepoint communication and collaboration functions of Sharepoint. Sharekami Pro is a iOS App (19.99 $) which allows comfortable interaction with the major Sharepoint functions and upload of e.g. QuickOffice documents and photos.
The user interface is similar to the interface to iCloud. Sharekami Pro is recommended for mobile Sharepoint power users. Sharepoint Pro supports for data which are loaded from the Sharepoint server to mobile devices, which is important for private and professional users.
With a hosted Sharpoint Server and mobile clients like Sharekami Pro users can build their own cloud with low cost and minimum administration effort. Data and access can be controlled personally – freedom to cloud users! No need to rely on Apple, Google, etc.