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Mark Templeton's keynote at Synergy, the annual Citrix users' conference is usually pretty interesting and this year was no exception. Templeton introduced the "Fourth Cloud" — the Personal Cloud — to what has largely been a three cloud world (Public, Private and Hybrid). The Fourth Cloud is an important concept because it defines the place where corporate IT meets the workforce. If IT gets this right, they'll be able to minimize the footprint of what IT has to own and what applications IT has to manage. Templeton's point is that it is in IT's best interests to make this happen since they'll ultimately benefit. He pointed out three essential ingredients for the personal cloud — 1) Context Switching — any to any connectivity, secure where necessary; 2) Self Service (including an apps store and of course things like Google Apps); and 3) Identity and preferences — managing the convergence of personal and work use. Citrix's view of the personal cloud is that it has: A front door that orchestrates delivery, Follow Me apps and data, Authentication /Security (Single Sign On, password management...), Cloud Connectors (for both business cloud and social cloud interactions) and Management (activity, Access Control, SLAs...). The Personal Cloud is a great idea — rentable applications, disposable devices, automatic synchronization, self service, and bridging into consumer apps — offloading from IT functionality and cost that is better acquired as consumer products. At previous Synergy keynotes, Templeton shined a light on the concept of BYOPC (Bring Your Own PC) which eventually has become a familiar phrase. The idea of a Personal Cloud (and IT's relationship to it) fits in nicely and takes BYOPC to the next level.
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