These days, there is endless discussion of "The Cloud" with cloud storage and file sharing near its epicenter, also referred to as "cloud file management." Services like DropBox, Box.net, Google Drive, and Microsoft SkyDrive have become popular with individuals because of their intuitive interfaces and cost-effectiveness, usually with a free basic level to start. These cloud file management services offer consumers the ability to have a cloud backup of all their files and media and allow people to share large files without using a cumbersome FTP process.
This is all well and good, but are these cloud file management services a good fit for businesses and other organizations? Many like their agility and not needing IT involvement but what else needs to be considered? As you begin to evaluate your organization's cloud storage and file sharing needs, questions arise:
- What are the pros and cons of cloud storage and file sharing vs. VPN and the shared drive?
- How does it compare with cloud document management?
- Is password protection enough and what other aspects of security need to be considered beyond the corporate firewall?
- How do commercial-grade offerings compare with their consumer rivals?
This blog post is the first in a series that will provide some clarity into these cloud file management issues. Let's start by exploring its features and benefits:
File Storage & Synchronization Users can access, modify and share files and folders across any Mac, PC, mobile device - whether online or offline - so that the version of the file being worked on is always the current one.
File Sharing & Collaboration People can now share large files of any size with anyone without the dreaded mail attachment file-size limitations. Old versions can also be accessed with an automated mechanism to handle change conflicts.
Security, Compliance & Encryption Reputable services ensure that all of your work is protected in the cloud with security that is often more robust than that of most businesses. SSAE-16 data center compliance and automatic backup with file versioning are a must and some services offer military-grade encryption.
Administrator Control IT administrators have the ability to set, monitor and manage file access and sharing policies to secure corporate data.
Applications File sharing is a simple way to manage files between organizations. Sales and marketing can use it to send brochures to both internal and external parties, customer service can use it for drivers or transactional invoices. Field personnel can use it for a variety of uses, ranging from sharing as-built pictures at a construction site to filing a photograph for a newspaper or any other means to create a one-to-many relationship for a given document.
As the cloud file management market continues to grow and expand its functionality, you can count on The Windward Group to provide you with leading edge products and services to meet your ongoing content management needs. Let us know if we can help.