Last week when Dropbox announced that they planned to kill the hard drive, some of us may have accepted this as the natural progression of things. But if you stopped to think about what the end of the hard drive would really mean for the enterprise -- you may have wondered if it’s such a good idea.
I spoke to Vineet Jain, CEO at Egnyte, which provides on-demand infrastructure services, to better understand how the demise of the hard drive will affect the enterprise.
Enterprise v. Customer-Facing Storage
Cloud storage providers like Dropbox started out as consumer-facing -- that is, they provided storage options to the average Joe/Jane. Thanks to the era of the empowered employees, however, it wasn’t long until these personal services integrated into their professional lives, mainly because they were easy and free to use.
As these providers expanded to provide enterprise-grade functionality, it may have seemed like a no-brainer for companies to migrate completely to the cloud.
While Jain thinks that the cloud is a viable option, he also believes that having an on-premise storage option is also necessary. Shifting cloud-storage from consumer to enterprise isn't easy and doesn't alway factor in the appropriate security, privacy or compliance controls. It's hard to balance simplicity with security. As a result, many of these apps don’t provide enough control so that companies can assign access to specific files. Instead, you’ll have to assign access to the whole folder or sub folder, or nothing at all.
Don’t Underestimate the Enterprise to Make Things Harder than it Needs to Be
As easy as saving your files to the cloud seems, you’re probably the exception. Most of the enterprise is still struggling to manage emails, so getting them to save exclusively to the cloud may be harder than expected. As any SharePoint manager will tell you, the secret to adoption is to keep it simple.
By adopting a hybrid approach to storage, companies can set it up so that the documents you need at your fingertips from whatever device you’re on is available, while documents that need to be archived appropriately are saved on-premise.
What can businesses do to manage their files so they’re safe, secure and compliant, while empowering users to access them when they need them? With Egnyte, you get security, scalability and control for IT with intuitive file sharing for users. By being exclusively for the enterprise, users can implement file sharing to achieve in-the-office performance with powerful collaboration using any device, without rogue cloud providers, VPN hassles, or security holes.
But isn't the Future is in the Cloud?
Hybrid or on-premise storage solutions may not be as sexy as being purely cloud-based, but IT managers don’t necessarily want what’s sexy -- they want what’s most secure and easiest to manage across the enterprise. Furthermore, IT isn’t in the content creation business, and neither is Egnyte. They aren’t necessarily focused on where content is created, just that is kept accessible and secure.
It's not about where content is created but if it is created in the cloud, it should be protected, which is why Egnyte has announced that the latest version of its solution unifies Google Drive’s document collaboration with Egnyte’s enterprise storage and sharing.
By integrating with Google Drive, popular for providing unique real-time collaborative editing capabilities and the ability to create content natively in the cloud, enterprise customers can have the flexibility and security to use the collaboration, storage and sharing tools that best fit their needs.
Within the next two years, IDG says that over half of the capital allocated to IT budgets will be spent on cloud computing. While consumers may be ready to ditch the hard drive, businesses are behooved to take a closer look at their file sharing needs so they can best leverage cloud and on-premise storage to enable employees to securely create and share files.
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