In a command-and-control world where IT could simply impose technology choices, usability and adoption were considered afterthoughts. Consumerization is now driving usability and adoption to the top tier of application evaluation criteria.
The OFS market is rapidly maturing from file storing and sharing services for consumers to technology solutions that offer features to effectively manage and secure business data. As part of this evolution, there is increasing demand for alternatives to the "one-size-fits-all," cloud-based approach, especially among OFS users who currently deploy a private cloud deployment model. The fact that more than two-thirds of these respondents would be extremely interested in a deployment model that allows some or all data to be stored on-premises is significant, albeit not surprising given that almost all respondent organizations have some types of data prohibited from being stored in a third-party data center.
The long anticipated Box S1, a key milestone in the company’s path to an IPO, provides deep insight into Box’s business model and progress in signing up enterprise accounts. Box has certainly had some success, but it needs to ramp up its strategy a bit to see profitability on the horizon. Key to Box’s long-term success is that it convert free users to paid, reducing its cost of sales and marketing while driving revenue growth. Since a lot of free consumer-class online file sharing and collaboration solutions are available, Box’s best chance at converting users to paid accounts is to identify those using Box in business settings who can appreciate the value in leveraging Box’s sharing, collaboration, and ease of use to accelerate business processes. Box also needs to make some key investments in order to speed IT adoption and acceptance, and accelerate sales.
Box’s S1 provides valuable insight into the “freemium” business model as a driver of revenue growth. Box’s business model relies on signing people up for its free service and then converting those users (hopefully) to paying corporate customers. It’s accomplished that – doing some math, 7% of its 25 million users are paying users, so that is 1.75 million paying users, which is nothing to sneeze at. It also has 34,000 companies paying for accounts, so it is likely that a good number of those 1.75 million users are corporate users. But how can Box drive down the expense line and increase the revenue line?
We recently dug into the topic of what types of deployment models users are looking for when they deploy online file sharing (OFS) and collaboration solutions; public, hybrid, or on-premises. Some of the findings were surprising!
VMware’s much heralded “Virtual SAN”—the hypervisor-managed provisioning of shared storage using pooled server storage capacity—is another line in the sand regarding the future of IT in general and storage in particular. VMware’s new product adds further clarity to the notion that convergence driven by software is a real direction—and a real choice—not only for the provisioning of business IT infrastructure, but also for the management of that infrastructure. While the functionality of the product still have room to grow, the simplicity and economy of Virtual SAN represents clear writing on the (software-defined data center) wall that traditional storage models are under threat.
Consumerization of IT and BYOD have IT walking a delicate line. How does IT empower employees to be productive and use the devices they want, yet keep data protected and secure? It also makes it increasingly difficult to meet compliance mandates when data is scattered across the enterprise on employees’ multiple endpoint devices. It is a difficult challenge to meet, but companies like Acronis are stepping up to the plate to offer solutions that enable organizations to keep employees working the way they want while meeting security compliance requirements.
ESG surveyed 334 North American IT professionals representing small (fewer than 100 employees), midmarket (100 to 999 employees), and enterprise-class (1,000 employees or more) organizations to find out about their organizations’ usage of, interest in, and opinions regarding online file sharing and collaboration services and deployment model preferences. All respondents were personally responsible for evaluating, purchasing, or managing information technologies needed to store, access, and share company documents and files for their organizations.
The OFS market is rapidly maturing from file storage services for consumers to technology solutions that require features to effectively manage and secure business data. As part of this evolution, there is increasing demand for alternatives to the “one-size-fits-all,” cloud-based approach, especially among current OFS users who currently leverage that deployment model.
At first glance, the services can be easily confused: a small consumer-like application, transparently sending data updates to a cloud-storage service.
Yes, it’s very easy to see how OFS and BaaS are similar:
To better explain the differences, and to really understand what is going on in both spaces, Terri McClure to join me to discuss the topic.
Soonr recently announced enhancements to its file sharing and collaboration offering Workplace. Founded in 2005, the company claims to have over 150,000 corporate accounts and like other vendors in this crowded space is looking to capture market share by expanding their business offering.
I had the good fortune to catch up with the General Manager of the EMC Syncplicity business unit, Jeetu Patel, and EMC's Chief Security Officer Dave Martin, at EMC's analyst event earlier this month. I roped them into a quick interview to discuss the new Syncplicity release (announced Nov. 5), as well as understand what's top of mind for CSOs when they think about consumerization.
Mobility and consumerization are having a hard and fast impact on IT. We are no longer in a “command and control” world in which IT dictates which tools employees use (hardware as well as software): More end-users are choosing their own hardware platforms and software applications in lieu of the IT-sanctioned business tools provided by their companies, and IT is sprinting to catch up. These end-users are looking to tackle issues like data sharing, portability, and access from multiple intelligent endpoint devices, creating a conundrum for IT as it has to balance business enablement, ease of access, and collaborative capacity with the need to maintain control and security of information assets.
ESG Senior Analyst Terri McClure focuses on network attached storage, file systems, unified storage, cloud storage, and online file sharing and collaboration solutions. Since joining ESG, she has become a much-sought-after analyst in the storage space. Terri brings more than 20 years of data storage industry experience to her role.
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