“The Dropbox problem”—you hear that phrase a lot around IT. You know what the real problem is with Dropbox, Box and other personal file sharing services? They’re too useful, and people love them too much. It’s no wonder. Content is the life’s blood of business productivity, and no mobile workspace can be complete without it. If there’s not an easy, IT-sanctioned way to access, sync and share data on any device, anywhere, people won’t hesitate to find their own app on the consumer market, regardless of how IT might feel about it.
How does IT feel about it these unmanaged personal cloud services? A customer was pouring his heart out to me the other day about the “unknown terabytes” of data that’s being tunneled out of his organization this way, everything from customer social security numbers to sensitive financial records. He had no idea where or how it was being stored, and no way to get it back from employees who left the company. For people, it’s a simple workaround that helps them become productive anywhere, on any device—but for IT, it could be a security and compliance nightmare.
Now, not every company sees personal file sharing accounts as a problem. If you’re not in a highly regulated industry, and your employees aren’t working with sensitive data on a regular basis, it might not be the end of the world to allow them to use Dropbox or Box. At Citrix, we’re not going to tell you whether you should or not. In keeping with our commitment to freedom and flexibility, we’ve designed our secure file sync and sharing solution, Citrix ShareFile, to meet your needs however you choose to do business.
Our new ShareFile Personal Cloud Connectors are designed with that flexibility in mind. If security is a top concern for your organization, ShareFile Personal Cloud Connectors give you a simple way to migrate all that data directly out of personal file sharing services and into your own ShareFile service where you can secure it, control it and keep it compliant with even the strictest regulations.
On the other hand, if services like Dropbox don’t keep you up at night, you can use ShareFile Personal Cloud Connectors to make them even more useful. If people want to use files stored in a personal file sharing account for work, they can access them easily from within ShareFile, in the same seamless environment as their corporate information, without having to move anything around.
Of course, the first rule of consumerization is that people will always use the best available solution for their needs, regardless of where it comes from. You can’t replace a popular service without providing something just as good or better, or people will just go back to the old way. We designed ShareFile to give people all the simplicity and convenience they love in personal file sharing services, combined with powerful enterprise-class features designed for business. ShareFile lets them do things no consumer service can, from OS-level integration for Mac and Windows, to connectors for Microsoft SharePoint and network shares, to deep integration with our Worx productivity apps. We even let people create, review and edit Microsoft Office documents and annotate Adobe PDF files within ShareFile on mobile devices. Features like those provide a powerful incentive for people to work within ShareFile, where IT can keep things secure and compliant. They might even forget about Dropbox entirely.
A service like ShareFile can seem a long way from our roots in app and desktop virtualization, but it’s right at the heart of our vision for mobile workspaces. Only Citrix is committed to providing every element of a successful mobile workspace solution, and we’re the only ones tackling the file sharing challenge with the security, scale and flexibility to meet the needs of every customer. However you feel about people using services like Dropbox in your organization, ShareFile can empower them to be even more productive—with the level of security that’s right for you.
Matthew Morgan is the vice president of corporate product marketing for Citrix. In this role, Mr. Morgan oversees global product marketing for all Citrix solutions. His background includes twenty years in enterprise software, including leading worldwide product marketing organizations for HP Software, Mercury Interactive, and Blueprint. Feel free to connect with him on LinkedIN or visit his personal blog.