May 11, 2016
4 Key Features Of A Business-Grade File Sync And Share Solution
Business-grade cloud file sync and share (FSS) products are a secure substitute for using consumer file sync and share tools in the workplace. These services offer the collaboration capabilities that consumer-grade tools are known for while providing the data protection and oversight companies need. There are a wide variety of business-grade FSS products on the market today. Here are four important features to look for when choosing a business FSS tool.
- Usability: According to recent Forrester report on business-class file sync and share tools, successful deployment depends on ease-of-use. In other words, if you deploy a FSS product that is not as user friendly as consumer FSS tools, employees will very likely kick it to the proverbial curb. Remember that employees already use consumer file sharing and collaboration tools daily. So, if your goal is to get them to adopt business-class FSS, you need to make it easy. When evaluating business-class FSS tools, compare usability with consumer tools employees already like and use.
- Functionality: File sync and share functionality can vary between products. For example, some products may offer collaboration functionality such as tracking and versioning. Some offer robust sharing settings—this is especially important if you are likely to be sharing documents with people outside of your organization. Evaluating how FSS will be used in your organization can shape your decision-making process. Also, consider employee needs today and in the future. As users get comfortable with FSS, they will likely look for additional functionality.
- Integration: Depending on your specific needs, integration with the existing IT environment is another important consideration. Some business-class FSS products offer integration with an Active Directory and LDAP to ease management and simplify access control. Others offer integration with commonly used applications such as Microsoft Office apps. Some products can even integrate with existing storage systems to create a hybrid on-premises/cloud FSS setup. For some businesses, keeping some FSS data on-site for performance reasons may be appealing—especially those collaborating on very large files.
- Security: Consumer file sync and share products lack a number of security features that business grade FSS offer. As noted above, business-grade FSS tools are much more likely to integrate with existing security features. Also, consumer products typically lack granular controls over what data is encrypted. Depending on specific business needs, this may be important. Other companies may look for auditing and reporting features that consumer FSS tools are unlikely to offer. Security features vary between products, but encryption and access controls are typical. Other FSS tools may offer security features aimed at specific threats. For example, some products offer the ability to remotely lock or wipe laptops and mobile devices to protect against data loss due to theft.