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Let’s face it, the cloud makes life easier – period.

If you want to share your vacation photos with a group of friends, you can simply throw them into the cloud for easy access. It’s the same thing for music and other information you need to share in a pinch. Cloud collaboration using file sharing is so easy that it has made its way into business for sharing company files, presentations and other work-related materials.

Cloud, file sharingAnd at work, anyone can access and share their files from anywhere inside and outside the organization through the cloud. Have you ever tried to use FTP to transfer a large file? So painful! How about using a VPN on a mobile device? Good luck having a phone that can actually access the VPN and stay connected. Users love the cloud for file sharing as it cuts out the distance and access barriers, making it simple for anyone to share their “stuff” whenever they need it. But beyond the goodness of the cloud, there are a few dirty little secrets about cloud file sharing that consumer cloud vendors seem to conveniently “forget” to mention.

Secret #1: Not all files can go into the cloud

Some files are simply too sensitive to pass through the cloud. A study by IDG of enterprise IT executives reported that 3/5 of companies believe that cloud file sharing has compromised their data security. Respondents also reported that 61% of all files will always need to be stored locally due to low confidence in the security of cloud-only storage methods. It’s fine for the other 39% of files to go into the cloud, but for the majority of business-critical files, the cloud is not enough.

Secret #2: File size limits don’t work for all industries

Many industries, such as advertising and construction, deal with distributed teams that need to collaborate on extremely large files. These businesses often deal with a combination of large files and low bandwidth, which can create serious connectivity and collaboration issues at client sites, branch offices and remote locations. With file and office characteristics that can break the laws of cloud file-sharing physics, users in these industries who are forced to use a cloud-only solution are likely to face frustration and serious productivity issues.

Secret #3: Connectivity issues will arise

Cloud file sharing depends on having one very important thing to work – connection to the cloud. In theory, the Internet is available everywhere, but there are common scenarios where the Internet may be down due to storms, construction and other unplanned events. Cloud services aren’t always available either. Look at the outage of Microsoft SkyDrive from late last year. Up to 250 million users were unable to access their data. For photos and music, that may not be a big problem for a short period of time. But, when you have your business files in that cloud, this is obviously a major issue – and there is nothing you can do about it. Wasted time = money lost.

Secret #4: You can have your cake and eat it too

Luckily, it’s not all or nothing when it comes to the cloud. Don’t allow your business files to go into a file-sharing solution built for consumers. Egnyte was built from the ground up to allow businesses to securely store, share and access 100% of their files. Make the most of your initial hardware and software investments by working with Egnyte, so that you and your users can have access to all of your files, regardless of where they are stored. And when connectivity is lost, our hybrid approach to file sharing ensures that you can keep your business up and running without interruption. The cloud DOES indeed make life easier – as long as you know how to address these “dirty little secrets” for your business.

 

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