As cloud storage providers boost their enterprise capabilities, and the Bring Your Own Storage revolution continues to gather strength, it’s no surprise that more and more organizations are clamoring to integrate the flexible, cost-effective file sync and share services into their IT infrastructure.
However there is much for enterprises to consider when adopting Cloud storage: How will this impact our security? What about the many Line of Business systems integrated into our existing platform? How will our users make the transition?
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We’ve found that there are three leading approaches enterprises can take to avoid pitfalls migrating to Cloud storage.
For smaller organizations, those spread out across many geographies and those not subjected to regulatory requirements, the path of least resistance – that is, embracing BYOS – may be the best option.
With cloud storage services so readily available, many organizations have found that their employees have been storing and sharing documents on their own for quite some time, and often with little to no oversight by IT. So as the saying goes, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.
One organization embracing BYOS is the popular headphone and audio brand Skullcandy – with a large chunk of its workforce using Dropbox, Skullcandy embraced the cloud storage provider’s enterprise edition, Dropbox for Business, and fully synchronized it with its on-premises SharePoint instance. Instead of forcing Dropbox users to conform to their on-premises system, Skullcandy enabled its employees to choose which platform made them most productive, while ensuring content was securely backed up and stored locally.
All In On the Cloud
Many organizations with thousands of users working in on-premises Network File Systems looking to lower CAPEX and OPEX costs are doing so by transitioning completely to Enterprise File Sync and Share services like Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, or Egnyte.
Ellucian, the leading provider of software and services for higher education institutions, has more than 3,000 global users and 60 percent remote workforce. Ellucian’s IT leadership recently made the decision to migrate all of its users from its on-premises Network File Shares to Cloud Storage to satisfy the need for employees to sync and share documents across the organization.
After linking its home drives to individual user accounts and migrating more than 10 terabytes of content to Box cloud storage, Ellucian was able to “flip the switch” and disconnect its workforce from local file shares completely. Since making its move to the cloud, Ellucian’s IT department has seen a notable decrease in service calls for file-related issues, as well as the valuable time and resources previously dedicated to server upkeep.
For many reasons, the most secure option for an enterprise seeking to incorporate Cloud storage into its IT environment might be to choose a hybrid solution, providing the flexibility of EFSS tools while maintaining the robust functionality of an ECM platform. A full migration to cloud storage is simply impractical for many large organizations that have been using on-premises file storage for years. These systems are often heavily embedded into the IT infrastructure, tightly integrated with many mission-critical line of business systems.
Other enterprises, like healthcare, legal and financial organizations, are often subject to regulatory, privacy or compliance mandates requiring that data be secured on-premises, thus making a full move to the cloud impossible.
Landmark Field Services, in the Oil & Gas sector, is required to keep its legal agreements, construction and engineering documents and all electronic information securely managed within its datacenter for several years at a time. However, field teams and clients spread out across the country need to be able to easily access those documents and share that information in real time. By synchronizing its on-premises data with various cloud storage services (in what it calls its Cloud Datacenter), Landmark has architected a hybrid content management solution that ensures sensitive information is “locked down” locally, while still enabling key stakeholders to remotely access the documents as needed.
No matter what the approach is, enterprises planning migrating to cloud storage will still need a way to transfer their content from one system to another. Given the headaches and risks often involved with a large migration or file synchronization, we recommend that organizations seek a middleware layer that’s capable of facilitating the transfer of large volumes of files, folders, user accounts, permissions, metadata and more across platforms right out of the box.