'Appification' nation coming soon to a file near you

In this week's Searchlight: Box takes a trip to 'appification' nation, plus: Google takes on death; the audacity of cybercriminals, and more.

Did you catch the latest news out of "appification" nation? Box is going to the docs.

Karen GoulartKaren Goulart

Last week, the file-storing and -sharing company announced it is moving squarely into Google Docs and Microsoft Office territory with its own word-processing online content collaboration tool, Box Notes. Where Google and Microsoft focused on cloud-based content collaboration first and then added storage offerings later, Box is obviously taking the opposite route. Perhaps, some pundits are punditizing, to greater effect. If that proves even remotely accurate, it's news CIOs need to peruse -- or, to borrow from Box marketing, take Notes on.

That's why Searchlight's lead item is a piece by Wired's Cade Metz that takes a closer look at Box Notes. Now in beta, and launching sometime next year, Box Notes offers real-time collaboration with an all-important social layer -- all within the application. It is planned to be a seamless process from conception to collaboration to sharing to storing and -- this is key -- it all happens without ever leaving the application, according to Metz.

Check out SearchCIO's own coverage of these topics

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The idea of the product isn't unique; there are other companies looking to do the same, but Box has the advantage of hefty financial backing and a reported 180,000 enterprise customers already on its rolls. At any rate -- good, bad or indistinguishable from its already-established competitors -- the Box product (we're only here to say) is a sign of things to come, CIOs. And that is the appification of the enterprise, or to put it in English, the expectation by users to do all computing and communication in real time.

As Wired's Metz put it, "for years we've thought of computer files and computer applications as two separate things. But what's happening now is that the applications are becoming the primary portals to our data, and the notion of the file is fading away."

Hard to disagree with that.

  • In a sign of where we are and where we're headed, collaboration gets the full appification treatment.
  • So what types of innovations is your company working on? Oh, that's nice, but have you heard? Google is planning to solve death. Seriously, if they can crack that nut, I'll hand over all my personal information and a bucket of my DNA.
  • Is there no end to the audacity of cybercriminals? Ask these folks, who are crowdfunding a hack for the iPhone5s fingerprint ID scanner.
  • The U.S. government wasn't kidding when it said it collected all our data but wasn't really looking at it. There aren't enough trained data analysts in the public or private sectors to sift through the figurative tons of data being collected, and it's not going to change anytime soon.
  • A little bird told me you might like this story about how personalization via recommendations is coming to Twitter. How Facebooky of them.
  • Advanced technologies could make data centers the unlikely new best pals of the electric power industry.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Karen Goulart, senior features writer.

This was first published in September 2013

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