To make quality decisions and become effective enterprise architecture professionals for their companies or organizations, IT leaders should utilize Forrester's latest Wave report on Enterprise FIle Sync and Share Apps [EFSS]. You do have options. Learn about them, compare and contrast their pros and cons, and be prepared to approach your upper management team with a solution for their current challenges.
Forrester decided to take a closer look at enterprise file share and sync (EFSS) vendors due to the large-scale timely transition occurring in enterprise systems today. Globally, businesses, schools, governmental departments, and organizations are moving to cloud based solutions for content, communication, and collaboration.
4 Things that Your EFSS Apps Approach should Include:
- SEARCH for improved and more cost-effective solutions for digitizing the structure and choices made in their specific organizations and fields
- INSPIRE faster, more meaningful, and longer communication techniques and processes that can be archived
- SECURE the file sharing processes so that access can be either open or strategically limited to meet the company’s specific needs
- DELIVER expertise and training in the rights management, life-cycle management, and library services sub-sections of EFSS and cloud solution[
Future posts will discuss the details of the Forrester Wave report. Here, however, we are detailing the reasons why EFSS is a rapidly rising solution that you should consider and the justifications for Forrester’s report. Before understanding the details of a report, you should understand the methodology and reasons for being as to understand a lack of bias or misguided purpose.
A New Standard for Enterprise Apps: Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS)
- Enterprise file sync and share (EFSS) is now a standard part of the enterprise and should no longer be classified as a technology that is primarily customer-driven
- Due to its recent popularity and thus standardization within the enterprise industry, EFSS vendors are now plentiful and offer comparable options
Two Groups of Enterprise File Sync and Share Vendors used by Forrester Wave to Produce the Report
- Cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) native offerings – These vendors are committed to features that focus on corporate content systems of record
- On-premises deployments (hybrid cloud) – EFSS solutions that focus on security as the primary goal of delivering connectors to storage locations or existing content applications. OPD/HC solutions release systems and professionals from the burdens of having to migrate content to another repository, an issue with which EA professionals addressing EFSS requirements must consider.
Shifting Content: The Cloud-y Role of the EFSS Providers
- Serve as collaborative systems of engagement throughout and across teams and companies
- Serve as primary systems of record
- Enterprise architecture professionals and company management are making accelerated decisions to rely even more on cloud storage and access for collaborative requirements and content management
- Cloud alternatives (EFSS vendors) will continue offering a significant challenge to enterprise content management (ECM) as traditional content vending struggles with porting legacy offerings to managed services
- EFSS alternatives are leaders in true SaaS content management
- EFSS alternatives are leaders in collaboration services
- Surveys have shown that over three-quarters of firms will move at least a portion – if not all – enterprise content management needs to SaaS systems by 2018
- EFSS cloud providers continue improving and enhancing auditing, simple retention rules, task or workflow management, search, metadata, and scalable repository services
Key Conclusions of the Forrester Comparison on Enterprise File Synch and Share Platforms
Google, Box, Microsoft, Intralinks, IBM, and Dropbox lead the nine providers at the end of the Forrester analysis
- IT professionals will have to balance the total user experience and ease of use with security requirements both organization-wide and personal. Your EA team may see EFSS as a means by which your company or organization can address top challenges ranging from digitization to access. The EA or IT team may be searching for ways to maintain a secure file sharing presence, a multitude of ways to share documents, and serve outside collaborators.
- Leading SaaS vendors will serve as both systems of record and systems of engagement. There are many content management and collaboration packages that are bloated and difficult-to-use. Newer, more user-friendly models that have focused on usability, content repository services and security are successful. The next phase of cloud based systems of record will be geared toward vendors who can provide efficient life-cycle management, library services, and rights management to their customers.
Forrester did not begin at zero.
They did extensive research on expert and vendor interviews, customer surveys, user need assessments, and past research before beginning their own work. The vendors were then evaluated and assessed against 40 criteria over three categories (market presence, strategy, and current offering). Each category had its own assessment levels and criteria by which the companies were tested.
Enterprise architecture (EA) professionals are always expected to have solutions to the most difficult and most timely questions. Because the era of technology has moved and advanced at exponential rates, the need for quick, informed decisions lives on in every IT department in every company.
Content, communication, and collaboration will always be important to any organization looking to track and trace its decision making processes so that improvement can be a process rather than a guess. It will be the IT or EA professional’s role in this transition to make an informed suggestion when upper management looks to them to perform. The Forrester Wave report is vital in that education as it took nine of the leading cloud and EFSS vendors and scored them fairly and thoroughly. Read the report so that you can also be fair and thorough in your decision for transition.