What Went Wrong with Enterprise File Sync and Share – MyWorkDrive Briefing Note

Sometimes IT vendors are guilty of answering questions that no one is asking. Such is the case with enterprise file sync and share (EFSS). For the most part, users just want to share office files with other colleagues and occasionally outside contributors. Primarily, they are looking for a more secure version without a VPN, and that the organization will approve of the consumer FSS they are using today. The problem is most EFSS solutions want to replace those solutions with one of their own.

The Problems with EFSS

The major problem with EFSS is that it is something new; a separate silo of storage that IT needs to implement and manage. It is also a new something that users need to learn. From an IT perspective, all data needs to be copied to this new storage silo. If it is cloud-based, which many of them are, it is then necessary to copy all data to the cloud, which of course takes time and risks exposure. Another problem with this separate storage area is that someone must pay for it, even though the organization already owns storage that is currently storing this same data today.

The second problem is end-user adoption. Users are probably already familiar with services like Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive. Learning a new method for sharing files means unlearning and then relearning. It is also very likely that the new solution isn’t as seamless as the solutions with which they are familiar, like Microsoft OneDrive’s integration with Office online, for example.

The Problems with FSS

The answer is to not allow users to continue using consumer-based file sync and share solutions. The motivation for EFSS is correct. The organization needs to make sure its data is secure and that files are shared only with approved users and business partners. Using consumer grade FSS products exposes the organization to all sorts of problems when trying to meet various compliance regulations.

Introducing MyWorkDrive

Instead of re-inventing the file sync and share wheel, MyWorkDrive leverages Microsoft’s OneDrive to bring enterprise-class capabilities to that offering. In the MyWorkDrive solution, all data remains on-premises on existing file-servers and NAS systems until a user wants to share it outside the organization. Standard Active Directory manages all internal sharing. Remote offices and Business Partners can use MyWorkDrive to access data without going through a VPN.

Users can connect remotely to their data through MyWorkDrive’s web file manager; users don’t need to install anything to access their data. Alternatively, users can use the MyWorkDrive client software to get to their files without syncing or a VPN. IT can optionally add two-factor authentication for additional security. The solution also has a client for iOS and Android. It enables users to securely access files and directly edit them using the Microsoft Mobile Apps.

Because MyWorkDrive leverages Microsoft’s OneDrive, Microsoft Office Online can directly edit OneDrive documents while saving files directly to the organization’s file servers. They claim to be the only service that has this functionality.

From a security perspective, MyWorkDrive allows the restriction of downloads and all user access is logged and searchable. Because the solution stores data primarily on the organization’s on-premises file-servers it makes it easy to maintain compliance with standards such as FINRA, HIPAA and the EU’s GDPR.

StorageSwiss Take

EFSS solutions attempt to do too much and are trying to replace services that already exist instead of making those existing services better. MyWorkDrive takes advantage of all the work that Microsoft put into OneDrive and Office Online. To that foundation, MyWorkDrive adds security, auditing and access to on-premises file-servers, eliminating the need for expensive cloud migrations and costly purchases of new storage systems. For organizations that have resisted an EFSS initiative or have given up on their current one, MyWorkDrive may rekindle your interest.

Twelve years ago George Crump founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal; to educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is a heavily sought after public speaker. With over 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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Posted in Briefing Note

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