Tom Scearce

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What It Feels Like to Take Control of Your Files | @CloudExpo [#Cloud]

Regaining control may sound like a faraway fantasy

Over the last several weeks, we’ve examined the risks of using the public cloud in the enterprise workplace. From unauthorized file access to regulatory noncompliance, the potential scenarios vary from dire to more dire – and it’s up to decision makers to take control of their organization’s enterprise file sync-and-share (EFSS) procedures.

But what does it feel like to have that control? If you’re currently trying to figure out how and where users are keeping their files, regaining control may sound like a faraway fantasy.

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You can do it, though. Really! And you know what? Taking control feels good. If you don’t believe it, just ask the following managers and IT professionals, all of whom addressed employee use of the public cloud and put their file use processes back on track.

Taking control feels… secure.

“Our data is local, secure, on campus, and on American soil,” Brian Verkamp, IT Director at the University of Cincinnati.

The University of Cincinnati, like many higher education institutions, is subject to a smorgasbord of regulations. From HIPAA to FERPA (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), various laws require the University to know where its files are – and who can access them – at all times.

Faculty were requesting Dropbox-like functionality, so the University chose Filr as its EFSS solution. Since the information security department “frowned on” the idea of offshore data storage, keeping data on-site was an imperative as well, not to mention the safest option. In this sense, too, choosing Filr made perfect sense.

To pinpoint which users had rights to various areas of the system, the University also took advantage File Reporter. Together, both applications recognized the Group and Directory rights setup by IT, so the data security the University needed was firmly in place.

Control = convenience.
“It’s the missing piece to the puzzle – Filr gives us the convenience of the cloud with the security of being,” Kelly Kovnesky, Supervisor of Network Operations for the Mukwonago Area School District.

With users looking for something “like Google Drive,” the Mukwonago Area School District knew convenience would be just as important as security when choosing its EFSS solution. After all, users are accustomed to the convenience of consumer cloud services. Give them something clunky, slow, and inflexible, and they might start relying on workarounds (e.g. apps with the functionality you deny them, like Google Drive).

When the District’s Operations Supervisor refers to the “missing piece” of the puzzle, she’s referring to mobile file sharing. Before Filr, it was difficult for users to share files securely with mobile devices. Now that mobile EFSS is a competitive imperative, she and her colleagues couldn’t be more relieved to have a solution in place.

Better control means better efficiency.
“Now many of our departments […] save precious time by using their smartphones or tablets to get the information they need to do their jobs. […] And, we’re addressing one of our mayor’s strategies to be an efficient local government,” Carolyn Hogg, CIO, City of Fresno, California.

Whether warranted or not, people love to complain about inefficient government bureaucracy. But what if your local government was efficient? It would be a beautiful thing!

That’s precisely what the City of Fresno was looking for when it transitioned to a new EFSS solution. Previously, employees had to return to the office from the field just to add data to the system. There was no secure way to transfer the data via mobile devices, and that had to stop.

By including Filr among its suite of mission-critical applications, the City of Fresno is giving taxpayers more value for their money. If nothing else, more efficient government is something everyone can support.

Given the gains in security, convenience, and efficiency, it’s little wonder so many organizations strive to regain control of their EFSS situations. Having control feels good. Your users are happy. IT is in the driver’s seat. Sensitive data is safe. It’s a tough scenario to top – but we think you can get there, too.

What It Feels Like to Take Control of Your Files is a post from: Data In Motion

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More Stories By Tom Scearce

Tom Scearce is product marketing manager at Attachmate and Novell for the enterprise file management market. He has 19 years of marketing, sales, product management and consulting experience in a variety of industries including software, professional services, telecommunications, media, medical devices and health/fitness services. Tom holds a Masters in Business Administration from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington.