And there’s a prize inside …

Hey CIO, you can stop pulling out your hair, Dropbox is going to help you gain control of your rogue company files.

There’s no one that can do this the way Dropbox can -- they claim 275 million (passionate) users.

It’s pretty safe to bet that a good number of these users store their work files in personal Dropbox accounts without IT’s blessing or knowledge. And they’re not doing this to be mavericks, to them Dropbox is simply the place where you keep all of your “stuff” -- be it baby pictures or important work documents -- so that they can access it from anywhere, at any time, via any device.

This no doubt causes problems for CIOs because it means they’ve lost control of the company owned files they're charged with protecting. And while IT has tried to block Dropbox and services like it from the enterprise, tech savvy employees have almost always found workarounds.

Up until recently, IT’s remedy for the “Dropbox problem” has been to offer enterprise-grade Dropbox-like services provided by vendors like Box, Syncplicity and dozens of others. And while these services have gained some significant traction, they’re yet another app workers have to juggle in their lives.

What workers want, it seems, is not something that provides a Dropbox-like experience; they want Dropbox, and they want IT to bless it so that it’s safe and not a hassle to use at work.

Needless to say, to Dropbox this presents a tremendous opportunity. The multibillion dollar enterprise file sync and share (EFSS) market might be its (and paid for by companies versus individuals), if it can get CIOs to welcome it through their doors.

Dropbox Goes Into Enterprise High Gear

Dropbox took a good look at its position. Yes, it really was missing many of the security and administrative functions that enterprises require.

The company took its first step in providing them last year with tools for provisioning, keeping track of who logs in and so on. But it saw that those wouldn’t suffice.

So last June, Ilya Fushman, who now heads Dropbox for Business, took the bull by the horns and asked CIOs what Dropbox needed to do to earn their blessing. He came home with three directives.

First, they wanted the ability to remotely wipe accounts so that if a mobile device is stolen or lost, data could be deleted. Second, they wanted a tool for account transfer so that if someone left the company, the company’s files weren’t taken or lost. And finally, they asked for audit log sharing so that companies can track where company data is being accessed.

Today, Dropbox is announcing that all three of these features have been built into Dropbox for Business.

Easy as this is to say, the effort to make it happen was huge -- it required a total rewrite of Dropbox. Why? Because Fushman wanted to ensure that the Dropbox for Business experience is exactly the same as the Dropbox experience everyone already loves. (Otherwise, why not go with a Dropbox for Business competitor?) Not only that, but to avoid friction, your personal Dropbox and Dropbox for Business accounts have to live on all of your devices, but be clearly separated.


Paired Dropbox Accounts on Desktop

Learning Opportunities

“Everything stays accessible, but team members get to control their personal stuff, while your company controls your work data,” explains Fushman.

Dropbox Takes Over the Enterprise, Starting Now

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Brilliant? Yes. But, maybe, not as brilliant as Dropbox’s plan to take over the Enterprise.

Check this out. Dropbox is encouraging its users to open up Dropbox for business accounts and to start separating their work and personal data. And for those who do so before September 30, there’s a carrot: bonus space for your personal Dropbox account.

And we know how Dropbox users love extra space.

And get this, the extra space is yours to keep as long as your business and personal accounts stay connected.

Will CIOs Tear Down Those Walls?

What does this mean for CIOs everywhere? A rapid onslaught of Dropbox for Business users who will sign up and resist letting go.

And if Dropbox has the enterprise creds to live inside of your environment, this is a blessing because you can finally say “Come in” rather that “Keep out” which is being ignored anyway.

Why Dropbox May Actually Be Worth $10 Billion

It’s no wonder that VCs pulled their checkbooks out when they heard Dropbox’s plan to take over the enterprise.

And this is only the beginning …””There’s a lot more to come,” says Fushman. “We’re still building out horizontally.”