Analyst Report: File sharing and synchronization: evolved for business


File sharing and synchronization services offer organizations a new way to share information. Many businesses, however, often rely on older technologies like file servers and physical media to share files, while others have turned to collaboration platforms that can prove hard to configure and difficult to adopt. Although many file sharing and synchronization services have evolved to the point that they can provide value to business users, they are not without their risks. Organizations seeking to deploy this technology need to actively and purposefully engage in the design of work experiences that mitigate risks and maintain productivity.

While large organizations have a wide array of tools at their disposal, small and medium-sized business are best poised to leverage the benefits of file sharing and synchronization services. All organizations, however, need to heed the following five key points in order to safely and securely deploy file sharing and synchronization services:

  • Co-create the file sharing and synchronization experience with employees to ensure that information sharing and collaboration specifications align with or enhance existing work approaches, including mobile scenarios.
  • Don’t force expensive existing services as solutions just because existing investments make doing the right thing hard to see.
  • Take into account file access and encryption needs when building the security model.
  • Have IT take an active role in selection, deployment, and management of the file sharing and synchronization service.
  • Select solutions from credible vendors that demonstrate ongoing product investments, delivery on their promises, and a solid track record for reliability and security.

Feature image courtesy Flickr user Sara

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Introduction
  3. A brief history of file sharing
  4. What’s wrong with email?
  5. Cloud-based file sharing evolves
  6. Design the work experience: Don’t let file sharing just happen to you
  7. Evaluating file sharing and synchronization solutions
  8. Bottom line
  9. Key takeaways
  10. About Daniel W. Rasmus
  11. About Gigaom Research

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