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File sharing productivity gains and challenges

In today’s mobile society, workplace mobility has never been more prevalent. Employees are not only working in the office, but also at home, on the road and in the field. It creates the expectation that work files need to be accessible and editable anywhere.

The rise of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) has made it more challenging to sync different devices and operating systems while keeping the network secure at the same time. Aside from that, files are becoming larger and branching to not just documents, but also photos, videos and presentations.

According to the survey entitled “The State of Mobility in the Workplace” by Soonr, anytime access to work files and documents is as important as ever to employees. They are working more regularly outside the office with nine out of 10 accessing files when away from the office.

Although CEOs see file sharing as a priority, nearly half (49 per cent) of those surveyed experienced difficulty collaborating with partners and others outside their company. In fact, 40 per cent of CEOs have missed an important deadline because they couldn’t access files remotely.

IT Professionals are also having trouble, around 58 per cent of those surveyed said they had trouble downloading a large file.

In terms of security, an overwhelming 83 per cent of employees are concerned about the security and privacy of their files. Around 25 per cent have lost data while attempting to download files and 31 per cent are not confident about the security of sharing files via the cloud.

Remote editing has come up as a major demand from employees. They don’t just want to see the files, they want to be able to do things to it such as edit and annotate on laptops and other mobile devices.

Helene Eberle, ANZ sales director from Manage Protect Pty Ltd, said companies need to think about the control of access to the files, documenting access, managing the way these files can be accessed, controlling the branding of the portal that delivers the files and ease of access across multiple devices and platforms.

Eberle added that file sharing within the company also requires a lot of considerations such as how workers can collaborate on a file effectively, how to secure the files being accessed, and what happens to the files after they have been accessed.

There is a way to sort it out. Eberle said file sharing solution is still a better way than just emailing data to each other.

“It allows people to access large volumes of data, and also for you to control how they view/access this data. You can also provide links so that people can upload data to you via a file share, which is then automatically synced into your workspace of files server,” Eberle said.

As for security breaches, Eberle said most cases are more likely to occur on the user’s PC or network than within most reputable cloud providers. Organisations need to ensure they choose a secure business grade solution that also addresses all of their privacy and security requirements.

“Reputable cloud providers can be gauged by their ability to attain compliance standards. Whether they have people on the ground who can help you achieve and execute your business objectives, case studies and references where they have performed similar tasks previously, they should be willing to be transparent and share encryption models and data controls to provide confidence that they have done their job well,” she said.

To find out more about Soonr, Manage Protect and how the right file sharing product can increase your productivity, get in touch.