Guide to Enterprise File Sync and Share – EFSS Market Outlook

The Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) market includes an increasing number of vendors coming from various technology areas and markets. However, very few vendors are getting wide visibility in international markets due to their product’s maturity. As the various barriers to broader market reach continue to reduce, the number of EFSS vendors launching their products in global markets is likely to increase. As it stands, the EFSS market encompasses a range of cloud-based or in-house capabilities meant to facilitate the storage, sharing and synchronization of enterprise files and documents amongst mobile workers. But this narrative is likely to change.

More than Just FSS

In its simplest form, an EFSS solution should be able to sync data and facilitate easy sharing across multiple platforms. However, functionality is becoming a feature of larger products and industry analysts predict that the days of standalone products are coming to an eventual end. File share and sync will be relegated to a feature of enterprise products, with the slight exception of specialized offerings catering to other key enterprise requirements such as security. Beyond their file sharing and sync capabilities, EFSS solutions can be viewed as strategic tools to boost business by enabling workflow and collaboration. Current EFSS solutions are even capable of entirely replacing some of the workflows previously carried by enterprise content management (ECM) systems.

It’s An Increasingly Mobile World

As greater functionality is added to mobile solutions and laptops getting lighter and smaller; more and more employees are turning to these lightweight devices with small storage footprints to boost productivity in and out of the workplace. The new mobile workforce is being driven by the ability to access files at any time, at any place, on any device. In order to makes sure it doesn’t present any roadblocks, enterprise IT has to carefully implement EFSS. This is the only way to dissuade workers from adopting personal clouds for cooperate reasons. The increased proliferation of mobile devices in the workplace is parallel to the adoption of EFSS solutions.

On-premises, Hybrid or Public? The Preferred option

A research conducted by Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) (published in February 2014) revealed that 48 percent of the organizations interviewed have already adopted an EFSS solution somewhere in their company. But according to ESG’s McClure most organizations that have deployed EFSS solutions have opted to use public-cloud based, software-as-a-service options because their offerings were earliest in the market. Only recently did on-premises and hybrid options begin challenging their public cloud counterparts. These solutions have since evolved and their use is preferred.

Industry analyst predict that on-premises and hybrid offering are likely to gain more favor with enterprise IT, that has to be constantly aware of where cooperate data is being stored and want to manage it using their own security measures. ESG’s research also revealed that 97 percent of companies that utilize public clouds for their EFSS needs had expressed interest in storing their file data using on-premises storage resources, instead of a service provider’s data center.

Security Concerns Are More Real Than Ever

The security of EFSS solutions are likely to remain a major factor moving forward, as enterprise IT focuses on placing a tight lid on corporate data. A security trend that will likely continue in the coming years is the use of on-site encryption keys for clients who wish to maintain full reading and writing capabilities over their data. Security concerns are also driving organizations to on-premises and hybrid EFSS alternatives that will facilitate more robust security controls, which seamlessly integrate with their enterprise IT environments.

Integration is Key

Several EFSS vendors are making application programming interfaces (API) in order to enable their platforms to integrate with existing software that clients might already have, and add functionality from other products, that the EFSS offering might not originally have. Integration with storage service or systems, document repositories, or business applications is also becoming a standard feature.

Conclusion

Enterprise file sharing and synchronization products have evolved far beyond simple file sharing and sync functionality. They have become powerful tools that improve efficiency by fostering collaboration. Considering the market is still young, this is an exceptionally broad adoption of a new technology. Despite this fast adoption, most organizations still face major challenges. A majority of enterprises have only deployed EFSS solutions for departments and individuals, and are still trying to figure out how and where solutions fit. The EFSS market is still in its infancy and there is a lot of room for all the players to grow.
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Author : Gabriel Lando