Newly published independent research shows overwhelming interest among IT professionals in on-premises solutions for online file sharing (OFS) and collaboration rather than the public cloud-based methods designed for consumers that have previously been their only option.
The research surfaces as Varonis Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRNS), a leading provider of software solutions for unstructured, human-generated enterprise data, continues to deploy its DatAnywhere file-synchronization and sharing solution in organizations seeking to maintain the protection and control of their existing infrastructure while enabling employees to collaborate as easily and efficiently as they can with cloud-based services.
The independent report, conducted by the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), is based on a survey of 334 North American IT professionals using or planning to use online file sharing solutions and representing large, midmarket and small organizations. Entitled "Online File Sharing and Collaboration: Deployment Model Trends," the report finds that 97% of organizations currently relying on public cloud-based file-sharing accounts would be interested in an OFS service that stores some or all data on premises -- including 69% saying they are "extremely interested." The most commonly cited reasons behind this interest include security, the ability to leverage current investments, and concerns about third-party access to sensitive corporate data.
Terri McClure, ESG Senior Analyst, explained, "As the OFS market continues to develop and mature from a 'one-size-fits-all,' cloud-based approach to one that demands features to manage and secure business data, there is increasing demand for alternative deployment models, indicating a large market need. The fact that more than two-thirds of current cloud OFS users would be extremely interested in a deployment model that allows some or all data to be stored on-premises is significant -- these users have experience with cloud-based deployments, yet do not appear to be completely satisfied with this approach."
David Gibson, Varonis Vice President of Marketing, said, "This research reinforces what we have been hearing from customers around the world since we released Varonis DatAnywhere in late 2012. IT leaders are uncomfortable with the widespread adoption of public cloud-based file-sharing tools because their responsibility is to ensure that the company does not lose control of critical or sensitive files. DatAnywhere represents the next generation of file sharing, layering BYOD capabilities on top of standard platforms, including file sync, mobile device access and third party sharing. DatAnywhere harnesses the enterprise-level security capabilities inherent in the existing infrastructure, while also providing users with the ease of use typically associated with the cloud."
The ESG report further explained the current state of enterprise file sharing and collaboration: "The problem is that consumer solutions are designed to synchronize pictures, music and personal documents. They aren't designed with security in mind -- a fact that is exacerbated when employees use these accounts in a rogue fashion since IT has no way of knowing the specific data that is being stored and where. This exposes organizations to many business risks such as loss of sensitive or regulated data in the event an employee leaves the company or if a mobile device is lost or stolen."
In describing the factors driving interest in on-premise file-sharing solutions, the report stated: "In a public cloud model, the service provider is responsible for storing and providing access to company data. If, for example, the service provider experiences outage or security breach, customers may not be able to access their data until service is restored, or may find sensitive data has been compromised. There have been numerous high-profile breaches in the OFS space in the last year. The ability to retain some or all data on-premises likely puts IT at ease knowing they can manage more sensitive or mission-critical files in the company's own data centers, where security and availability policies have already been established."