The enterprise file sharing market is changing the way people do business. Public cloud services have helped free organizations from productivity killing tools and policies – and gone are the days of clogging inboxes with large file attachments. Yet, as they reap the benefits of these services, organizations must ensure that sensitive information is being stored and shared securely. These fears are reasonable, fed by the security breaches that swept the nation in recent years, including Target, Home Depot and the celebrity iCloud hack.
This year will be a huge year for enterprise files and storage, driving innovation and productivity while also presenting risks that enterprises must consider when implementing enterprise file sharing policies. Companies need to define strategies around enterprise file synch and share (EFSS) and evaluate which solutions will make employees most productive while keeping vital information secure. In anticipation of these risks and opportunities, here are five predictions, provided by Tom Scearce, head of marketing, file and networking products, Novell, around the state of enterprise files and storage for 2015.
Tom Scearce markets enterprise file management products for the Attachmate and Novell brands at MicroFocus. He has 19 years of marketing, sales, and consulting experience across diverse industries including software, telecommunications, media, medical devices and health/fitness services. Tom holds a Masters in Business Administration from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington. Follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn.
A Look Ahead at File Sharing and Storage
Click through for five predictions regarding what organizations can expect to see in the enterprise file sharing and storage arena in 2015, as identified by Tom Scearce, head of marketing, file and networking products, Novell.
Expect the acquisition of Dropbox or Box by a more established player. In 2015, we can anticipate a consolidation within the files and storage market. While these firms built their success by appealing to consumers, the business cloud storage market is just as competitive, if not more, making Dropbox and Box likely candidates – liken it to the Microsoft and Skype acquisition back in 2011, or Oracle’s 2013 purchase of Eloqua. And, Box’s successful IPO in January offered proof that there is demand in this market. Potential acquirers may look to cash in on the hot space while Box’s shares are still growing.
Fear the business cloud data breach. Last year was no stranger to cloud hacks. Media attention focused heavily on breaches of celebrity photos and personal consumer information. There’s no doubt that more cloud data breaches are on the horizon this year, as Forrester reports. As cloud computing continues to develop into an incredibly disruptive technology, the possibility of a cloud data breach in the B2B environment will shake the business world, scaring those who aren’t protected against the risks associated with consumer-grade services. Employees that store business files in public cloud platforms are moving secure corporate data out of the company’s control. At least with data stored in private clouds, corporate IT has a fighting chance to “secure the crime scene” and troubleshoot the cause of the breach.
Prepare for specialization in vendor offerings. With consolidation, the remaining companies within the market will need to specialize in order to compete with larger household names. Players will build file sharing solutions targeted at specific verticals, including regulated sectors like health care, government, education and financial services. These types of firms will look for solutions that drive productivity on all devices while keeping a secure lock on corporate files.
Anticipate the purge. As enterprises finally begin planning company-wide EFSS deployments, they will focus on “the purge before the move.” Think of this as the corporate file storage equivalent of a family organizing, cleaning and garage-selling when moving to a new house. Before committing to mobile file access and sharing, companies will look for new ways to analyze and right-size existing storage and identity infrastructure.
Expect opportunities for product innovation. Product innovation opportunities will emerge at the intersection of EFSS and managed file transfer (MFT). New efficiency-driving workflows will allow files to move seamlessly from human-to-human collaboration through machine-powered business processes. An example would be an insurance offering where all the right parties can have access to files around claims. Policy holders, adjusters and underwriters will edit and approve files in a shared workspace, prior to the claim being processed separately and checks being cut.