Global File Sharing's Future Relies on Partnership and Collaboration
When it comes to the future of global file sharing, customers and vendors of these solutions must work together to develop the ideal solution for each user’s unique needs. Indeed, buyers are often looking for more than the features and benefits of global file systems - they want solutions to their most pressing business problems. How will global file sharing solutions keep up? The answer lies in their ability to be agile and customizable to their customers’ needs - as well as their aptitude for seeing their customers as key partners in the deployment process.
Some say that global file sharing vendors are creating solutions that are too niche. I would argue that in actively listening to and solving customers’ specific problems, global file sharing providers are creating sustainable partnerships with their buyers for future success. Here’s why.
What Does The Customer Really Want - and How Can We Deliver?
When reduced to its most simple form, global file sharing comes down to storing content securely and effectively - at scale. Ultimately, IT will want centralized administrative capabilities to ensure their teams have complete control and visibility. The end-user will always look for an intuitive user experience that maximizes their productivity and powers ease of work. For CIOs, protecting business data while still enabling the flow of work and information is paramount.
But what else? Along with the typical pain points that need to be addressed with global file sharing – such as managing disparate repositories, ensuring content is accessible within business workflows, and implementing a ‘lights-out’ security policy – come additional concerns that must be dealt with.
It is crucial to work with each buyer to understand their requirements, as well as to predict future needs. At Egnyte, we have developed solutions to the specific industry challenges of our customers. For example, our customers in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry are increasing the amount of data storage for each project they service. As a result, they need a file sharing solution that can serve their teams on the job site, in the office, and with other project stakeholders.
We provide our AEC customers with a solution that increases the speed at which a document can be accessed by caching files even with limited bandwidth. By making the files centrally accessible and with the ability to view file types that the industry already uses – like BIM, Revit, AutoCAD, and more – teams can also view and interact with project data in real time without the need for third-party applications. Additional enhancements continue around our AEC-specific package based on industry trends and the need for more immediate access to data. While these solutions were developed based on a specific industry need, the use case can be mirrored for those whose industries have gone to a remote or hybrid work setup. The ability to have immediate access to crucial files no matter if you are at an event, a home office, a client meeting, or on the road is vital to many organizations today.
As a whole, there are several aspects of secure global file sharing that are overlooked - but often become more important in the implementation process. Some examples of these include malware protection and content previews via thumbnails, in addition to the ability to search content across file types. Often, through working closely with customers and end-users, it becomes apparent that these ‘add-ons’ are truly fundamental to the project.
There are certain bedrocks of global file sharing that are essential, of course, such as native support for a variety of clients – whether desktop, mobile, browser, or APIs – providing a variety of protocols (HTTP, SMB, FTP, etc.), no scale limits, and high availability. Particularly in today’s hybrid work environment, seamless support for a mobile workforce moving between devices and locations is and will remain critical. Global locking that accounts for both online and offline clients, as well as central administration with delegated management, is also essential.
A secure solution for content collaboration and governance must be paired with a deep understanding of the customers’ needs - both broad and unique. Global file sharing vendors will continue to provide solutions to the unique business needs of their customers while uncovering universal features that can be beneficial for any organization, no matter the industry. The key is for these vendors to continue to listen to their customers, anticipate their future needs, and develop solutions that will continue to evolve with the market trends. In doing so, vendors like Egnyte are creating lasting relationships with their customers because, at the core, they are looking for guidance on how to solve their most challenging problems. If you continue to deliver, they will see you as a partner in their success.
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