Enterprise sync and share services

Ashton Mills

The advent of the cloud has created many new businesses opportunities as well as opportunities for business -- with connectivity to the internet, cloud allows a business to have its data accessible to employees and clients at all times, on any device, in any location.

Indeed, whether they like it or not, many employers will find cloud storage services are already being used by employees to share business data, and the in absence of a company mandated service or policy, are likely to use whatever products they use on a personal level. Which is inherently a security risk, as there's no guarantee of the security of the information being stored there, even if it's only temporary.

Which is one reason we've seen the rise of enterprise focused cloud storage and collaboration services. These promise not only increased security for your business data, but also provide tools to help employees work together with business data, both within the organisation and outside of it with clients. The juggling act is to use the cloud for increased productivity without sacrificing security by having your business assets 'out there' in the great depths of the often unsecured internet.

Many services will sell themselves not only on their collaborative and secure features, but also how they can modernise your current systems -- replacing, for example, local shared storage on the network or remote FTP servers. And these are valid points to consider: with the cost of maintaining and securing your data shifted to a cloud service, it's possible to save money doing this in-house, as long as you trust the service provider.

Another advantage is the ability to scale storage with demands. A locally hosted solution, aside from the need to be managed in terms of backup and reliability, will also ultimately have ceiling on available storage. Cloud solutions at the enterprise level will often (but not always) offer unlimited storage, and the responsibility for backup and security of that data is also moved to the provider. Again this can be a cost saving that can add up over time, but it also brings with it a new set of risks, from availability to security should the service be hacked -- and as we've seen time and again throughout the year with high-profile breaches, no service can is foolproof.

So be sure to investigate the advantages a cloud storage, sync and sharing can bring to your business before diving in. There is of course no free lunch, and security is always a trade off between accessibility, reliability, and cost.

To that end there are [i]lots[/i] of cloud storage services out there, so here's our take on some of the more popular and less well-known services that might pique your interest.

1. Box

2. Accellion kiteworks

3. Citrix Sharefile

4. Spideroak

5. ownCloud

Tags Enex TestLabdropboxWindowsOpentextBoxsecurity riskCitrix ShareFilebusiness dataSpiderOakdocumentumCSO AustraliaMacOS XAccellion kiteworksEnterprise syncownCloudStorageZonesActive Directory/LDAP

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