Aaron Levie is pacing onstage, a microphone in one hand and a coffee in the other. His Kramer-like hair bobs above his head. We’re in the lunchroom of Box’s 97,000-square-foot Los Altos, California, headquarters, and a group of about 50 new Box employees, mostly in their 20s, sit on steel picnic tables facing Levie.
“There are phases in technology,” Levie announces, midway through a presentation that sounds more like a TED talk than a welcome speech. “Mainframe to PC, PC to cloud, to cloud and mobile. These things come around every 10 to 15 years, and we’re in one right now.”
He pivots and changes direction.
“And what that means,” Levie continues, “is that it’s a catalyst for IT buyers to implement the next generation of technologies that they’re going to run their businesses off of. This opportunity did not exist in ’03 or ’05 or ’07 or ’08 or ’09. It is happening right now.”
Levie leaves no room for doubt: The hard drive is finally dead. The PC is on life support. The office worker of today has gone rogue; most likely, you and your employees are accessing your files from iPhones or Android phones or maybe tablets. All the trends we’ve been hearing about for years — the consumerization of IT, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), software as a service — are now fully upon us. The research company Gartner predicts that by 2015, at least 60 percent of information workers will be accessing their content on mobile devices.