Why does your average employee decide to embrace cloud-content platforms such as Dropbox?
Maybe that entrepreneurial worker is always on the road, with a desperate need to access files. Or maybe they simply want to swap data between cubicle and home office.
Whether a lone employee using Google Docs for semi-work purposes, or an entire division opting to swap files via Senduit instead of whatever platform’s been forced upon them by headquarters, the proliferation of consumer file-sharing services can lead to headaches for IT departments, which are concerned about pesky little things like organization-wide security. But according to one analyst, IT pros (and management) shouldn’t restrict concerns about cloud-content management to possible hacks and exploits; instead, they should lose sleep over how well those cloud services can play with on-premise applications.
“Security isn’t the issue, it’s integration with other on-premise enterprise applications,” Darin Stewart, an analyst with Gartner, wrote in a May 25 blog posting. “Any deep integration is going to be trickier with a cloud solution and is going to eat up most savings realized by moving to a SaaS or PaaS solution.” On top of that, migrating content to the cloud is an “expensive and error prone process.”
Because of that, he concluded, money “should not be the primary driver to the cloud.” Instead, organizations should focus on how the cloud can help an organization offer its workers “ubiquitous, yet managed access to content.” To that end, he recommends a hybrid solution that combines on-premises with cloud elements, although that might not play well with an organization’s upper management: “This is not the clean slam dunk on ECM savings IT execs want to hear.”
Security Still a Concern
All that being said, security does remain a concern for organizations wangling with how to best introduce the cloud into their respective hierarchies. IBM forbids cloud services such as Dropbox and Apple’s iCloud, for example, as well as the practice of auto-forwarding work email to personal email accounts.
Indeed, when it comes to the cloud, security can involve everything “from data safety/recovery to securing data in transit and at rest to whether a vendor can meet a company’s compliance requirements,” Charles King, principal analyst t Pund-IT, wrote in a recent email. “The same issues touch most cloud services/service providers, but the issues are more important by orders of magnitude in the business world than they are in the consumer space.”