Intelligent drive - an idea to the future of cloud drives

Background (ideas and me)

Every great idea is a solution to some problem and if it is not solving problem then it is just an idea i.e. nothing great about it. Therefore, I have been finding problems so that I can give birth to a great idea. There are so many ideas but don't have skill set or team to implement that idea. Therefore, I am going to share with you these ideas time to time.

A bit of history

The idea of cloud storage was invented by Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider in 1960s. He has this great vision to interconnect everyone so that they can access data or programs from anywhere. Today, we call it "cloud computing". If you want to learn more about the history of online storage then you can visit this link. These days big companies like Amazon, Google, Mircosoft, Dropbox and many more are famous for their online/cloud storage solutions. You can access your files from anywhere on any device (I won't go into much detail as you know everything). Everyday, we learn more about these services and therefore, we expect services to deliver more and more. We are living in fast changing world where we need intelligence in technology solutions.

Problem Statement

I use cloud storage for various purpose. For example, casual storage, personal document storage and business specific storage. I shifted from one cloud storage provider to another as I discovered the benefits of each service. Some storage services are standalone like Dropbox whereas other storage services might be integrated with its other products. For example, OneDrive or Google Drive is connected to other products like Microsoft 365 or Google Apps. I am using OneDrive for storing documents now. I have created a folder structure for each category i.e. Finance, Learning, Bills etc. Most of the times these documents get saved from email or website downloads. So, I manually choose the folder where I want to save these documents on my OneDrive. Bills and invoices are the common ones that get saved quite often. Now, to the problem. The problem is that I have to save everything manually. It takes valuable time to manage these folders. Why can't it be so intelligent that it picks up the document and save them to respective folder? Let me explain with example using OneDrive:

  • Let's say, I have created a folder named "Finance" on my OneDrive
  • Invoice comes from XYZ company in email (outlook or Microsoft mail)
  • Email attachment goes to one particular folder on OneDrive
  • Later, document is classified as invoice and good to go into "Tax 2016-2017" folder under Finance.
  • Document is saved to folder
The whole process is hidden and you don't have to be involved. Now above example is only for email attachment but same can be applied to various scenarios where you need to store document or pictures in it's respective folder on OneDrive or Google Drive or something else. In fact, while driving uber (good way to network) I met someone who recently got job with dropbox in San Francisco. So I shared my idea with him and he agreed that it could be next step for cloud providers.

Hypothesis

The only question is do we need some kind service in the middle or cloud provider should create something like this. Definitely, if cloud provider do it then it is competitive advantage for them. On the other hand, if we create third party service in the middle then we need to integrate cloud provider's storage solutions with it. This could be beneficial for people who uses multiple cloud storage solutions. Following is hypothesis based on my understanding:



To start with there is a service from Microsoft to fulfil starting point of the above solution. It is called Microsoft Flow. With this service, you can create automated workflows between your favourite apps and services to get notifications, synchronise files, collect data and more. With following example, we can save all Office 365 outlook attachments to AzureBlob storage. This means you have completed the tasks "get from source and save here".


Final thoughts

I have given you a start. I believe you can now explore the rest by yourself. There is further enhancement that we can make to this service. For example, creating reminders for bills where due date was extracted from one of the saved document. Anyway, if you get anywhere with this idea then you can either donate me (shown below) or make me part of your project. Happy Realising !!!



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