10 Things To Consider While Evaluating an Enterprise File Sharing Solution
Going by recent trends in the EFSS ecosystem, it would be safe to conclude that technologies are progressively evolving and getting more complicated. There are now many vendors with numerous complex offerings, plus a myriad of tools to power different enterprise functionalities. While some have specialized in certain processes, other solutions come with multi-layered features. Only a handful are flexible enough to cater to almost any business model.
And that explains why most organizations are now relying on multiple services from separate vendors. The average enterprise is now leveraging 1,427 different cloud services, and the average employee is typically running 36 distinct services at their workplace. And that includes using separate file sharing solutions simultaneously.
Pretty solid, and some may argue that variety is the way to go. But, while it may have its benefits, one major disadvantage overshadows it all. It essentially beats the whole logic of optimizing enterprise efficiency. 30-45% of the resources dedicated to such solutions is ultimately wasted, and organizations fail to achieve an effectual central system that is adequately aligned with their core operations.
That leaves CIOs with only one option- adopting a single comprehensive enterprise file sharing solution, and subsequently implementing it across their entire organizations. Well, the major downside to this process is the fact that may not be a simple undertaking. Choosing a solution itself could prove to be a nightmare because, as we’ve previously mentioned, the industry is now quite extensive.
A poor Enterprise File Sharing Solution could set you back. A perfectly suitable one, on the other hand, will substantially boost all your operations. And we know what this means in the enterprise world, right?
So, to help you in the selection process, here are 10 factors you should prioritize on when selecting:
- Delivery Model Flexibility
Functionality flexibility is undoubtedly one of the main, if not the chief reasons why organizations are shifting to EFSS. So it makes no sense going for a service that is cannot be easily upscaled and downscaled
Review your organizations projected growth, and extrapolate it to include computer resources. Then subsequently compare this with different services, and focus on solutions that can effortlessly adapt to changing needs in real time.
- Certifications and Standards
EFSS solutions that adhere to recognized quality and standard guidelines demonstrate a distinct compliance with industry best practices. This is basically one of the most reliable ways to identify the safest bets you can proceed with.
For example, if you’re particularly concerned about security, you might want to check out providers accredited with renowned certifications like ISO 27001.
- Vendor Lock-In, Migration Support and Exit Planning
How is the EFSS suited to your current processes? How easy is it to transfer files and integrate it into your organization?
Even when the EFSS offers adequate migration support, you should additionally factor in vendor lock-in and exit planning. Consequently, you’ll be able to eliminate services that could prove to be problematic in case you may prefer to switch to a competitor solution in the future.
- Performance and Reliability
For a service that the entire organization will run on, you definitely cannot afford to compromise on performance and reliability.
To evaluate this, review providers’ SLAs for the last 6-12 months. And since downtime affects even the industry leaders, the subsequent reactionary measures should also count. Proceed only with a service provider who has implemented and adequately documented proven disaster management measures.
Automating mundane and routine tasks substantially minimizes manual intervention, which ultimately boosts system and overall enterprise efficiency.
So it’s advisable to not only review EFSS according to functions that can be automated, but also the flexibility of the entire automation process. An ideal service should allow automation adjustments in line with your specific system architecture.
- Pricing Structure
For an industry that is exponentially growing, you’d expect competition to regulate the pricing of EFSS. But, surprisingly, many providers are still way off the mark.
Compare different services and proceed with one that is reasonably priced, with costs that are only derived from specific features you leverage. And remember, reasonable pricing doesn’t necessarily mean cheap.
Compared to previous years, the number of CIOs worried about cloud security is reducing, with 25% as of 2017. But, it still remains the number one concern, despite upcoming revolutionary security features.
To guarantee the safety of your organization’s data, choose a service that extends past the standard server encryption and point-to-point SSL encryption. Military grade double factor encryption, for instance, would be excellently suitable for sensitive data.
- Server Location
Each country has its own set of legislation on data governance. In the US, for example, the Patriot Act grants the federal government adequate powers to fully access any data if it’s considered relevant to national security.
In addition to ensuring that a service provider is transparent enough to disclose server location, choose an EFSS whose servers are governed by laws that wouldn’t be detrimental to your organization.
The concept of cloud and enterprise file sharing is fairly complicated. But that shouldn’t be translated to basic service functionalities.
Even when it’s holistic with an extensive range of features, a good EFSS service should come with a simple interface that can be figured out within minutes by an average employee. The CIO should also be able to adequately comprehend the whole architecture and integration process. This not only minimizes training costs, but also eases adoption and reduces the chances of problems in future.
- Data Control
This may seem obvious and pretty straightforward at the beginning, but keenly reviewing SLAs from numerous service providers might reveal some shocking details on data control. Some of them do not explicitly grant exclusive data control rights. Your data, for instance, may be retained within some EFSS servers after deleting and migrating to a competitor service.
Therefore, it’s critically important to understand how your data will be managed and corresponding user rights. The most suitable solution, of course, should be one that completely respects data privacy by granting you full data control privileges.
Using these evaluation factors, a good place to start would be Filecloud. Feel free to get in touch for any clarifications about our enterprise file-sharing services.
Author: Davis Porter