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Understanding Enterprise File Synchronization & Sharing

By Hanna Welch | November 11, 2019 |

greater than 7 minutes

In this modern-day world, it’s a must for a business to have an Internet presence for it to grow. With the use of the Internet, synchronization, as well as file sharing, is made easier both internally and outside of the business structure.

In this modern-day world, it’s a must for a business to have an internet presence for it to grow, as well as to increase productivity. With the use of internet, synchronization, as well as sharing of files, is made easier both internally and outside of the business structure. The reliance of businesses on the internet has evolved to the point that it’s estimated that by 2024, the global market for enterprise file synchronization and sharing will have risen by $5.4 Billion.

Enterprise file synchronization and sharing (EFSS) are internet-based services that focus on providing organizations with secure platforms to synchronize and distribute files, such as photos, documents, videos and audios from various devices to corporate employees, clients, and partners. This technology is attractive to most organizations, as it prevents companies from using general consumer-based applications to share and synchronize files. With this technology, companies can manage their data through their IT departments without having any external factors or risk.

History of Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing

The first EFSS software was developed back in 2004 as a college project at the University of Southern California. It was then polished and established in 2007 as Box. Upon the release of Box, dominos started falling into place with Dropbox getting established the year after, in 2008. That very same year, Microsoft rolled out a beta version of Windows Live Folders which would later become the famous OneDrive. By 2010, the EFSS market had over 100 vendors offering software products developed using different backgrounds of technology, which included data backup and internet-based file storage. Most of the products that began to roll out in 2010 focused on delivering more secure platforms to protect organizations’ data.

In 2011, Citrix Systems (a software company) launched an enterprise file sync and share product named ShareFile. Despite being a competitor to Box and Dropbox, ShareFile services mainly targeted IT Departments within huge businesses. Ever since then, the EFSS market has grown and continues to attract more vendors as well as consumers. Studying the background of EFSS, it is clear that the file sharing market’s future is headed in the right direction.

In 2018, the size of the EFSS market was capped at $1.84 billion and for the next 5 years, the predicted growth is close to 20% projecting a sum of $5.40 billion. Owing to various factors, such as the willingness to adopt new technologies in North America, as well as new data compliances within the European region, the speculations of the EFSS also considered the APAC region due to their advancement in technology. The growth of EFSS is also a result of globalization, the increasing COPE trend, as well as the widespread use of smartphones for business purposes.

Global EPSS is a highly competitive industry that has a significant number of major players and file synchronization trends. In 2019 their display rack includes the big guns such as Dropbox, Box, Microsoft, Google, as well as VMware to mention a few, taking further steps in strengthening their positions in the market. With the world now a global village through use of the internet, the continuous call for secure cloud-based storage services has seen big brands invest more into the EFSS market, hence contributing to its fast growth. The EPSS services have become attractive to global enterprises due to safety, flexibility and visibility of document movement within the company.

When it comes to competition structure, the leading major player in the provision of EFSS services is Dropbox as they store clients’ data on their own servers. Enterprises value this feature as it presents a more secure and reliable method of storing data. The Smart Sync feature has also benefited Dropbox in gaining momentum within the market as it allows users to have the same experience regardless of whether they are working offline or online.  

EFSS is expected to experience a faster growth rate as it is being accepted by most enterprises due to its friendly features that are scalable, affordable as well as flexible. The software is also easy and fast to deploy. The use of cloud-based EFSS is much cheaper than on-premises solutions and it’s also easy to maintain.

Dropbox has grown in strength and popularity. Their services are some of the best online and users can attest to the importance of an excellent service provider. You can read about Dropbox and other competitors online in the FileWhopper Blog section. Afterwards, you can also select some of the services offered by FileWhopper, namely storing large files without paying the premiums or ridiculous amounts.

Predicted Growth Sectors

Among the involved industries, healthcare takes the lead in the expectations of being the fastest growing in the EFSS market. This is due to the adoption of smartphone use within the industry. With the world constantly changing their life-style and mostly relying on the internet in finding solutions related to health, healthcare practitioners have and will resort to effective methods of communication to relay messages in a more personal manner. These needs will then propel the industry into adopting cloud-based EFSS solutions.

Adopting EFSS Solutions

Sharing of files is important and the key to every business’s success. It is essential to make sure that files are kept in a safe and secure place so competitors are not able to gain information about the company’s operations. The modern market vendors deliver various programs focusing on EFSS. There are new vendors that are also emerging in the EFSS market with big brands flexing their muscles by acquiring smaller brands so they can expand their services.

Although the end goal may be the same, the features and services of programs delivering EFSS are different. This makes it important for an organization to understand the enterprise file synchronization market trends and the scope of the industry before selecting a particular EFSS solution. Thus, depending on the nature of the organization, selection of EFSS solutions should also consider whether the business is more technical. Less technical enterprises will opt for the easy to use and manage solutions such as Microsoft, Dropbox, and Google Drive, whereas the technical ones that value data protection above all will be better catered for by using a hybrid of on-premises and cloud-based solutions such as FileCloud, Axway, Pydio and Myworkdrive, to mention a few. However, with everything taken into consideration, most global enterprises will opt for cloud-based EFSS solutions due to tightened security and privacy results. Also, a solution’s compliance with GDPR rules, as well as other laws of data protection, has become an essential factor considered by many enterprises before settling with a particular vendor. Therefore, most companies understand that failure to choose the right EFSS vendor for the business may result in huge losses when it comes to revenues and data safety. 

Benefits of EFSS

A company that doesn’t provide file syncing and sharing services will have their employees end up utilizing personal programs. This means the IT department will have no control over who has access to the company data that is being shared and stored by the employees at their discretion. The department may also not be aware of any breaches until it is too late to stop the damage. With an EFSS service, the enterprise gets a combined benefit of convenience and simplicity that is found in personal file syncing and sharing, with enterprise-based features to ultimately promote productivity. Moreover, the organization gets increased security as well as easy monitoring of data by the IT department.

Since the world has become a global village, mobility is now essential among company employees. Gone are the days when the whole corporate team would rely on a single corporate-owned device kept in a corner office. Today, the use of mobile devices with advanced technology to access files while on the go has become essential in increasing productivity. EFSS services promote mobility as it allows users to sync and store their files in cloud-based storage, which can then be accessed using any approved device anywhere. To top that, we can also mention the prevention of data loss, as well as easy recovery of data. EFSS services store data centrally, which makes it even easier and more realistic to monitor movement of files, therefore, preventing data leaks and possible cyberattacks.

Best Global Enterprise File Syncing Features

Data synching (in short known as sync) is a program feature that allows users to work on the same document using different devices with the content being updated close to real-time. The main concept is for the user to make edits or additions to a file and their colleagues will see those changes almost instantly. The model used by many syncing services provides a folder that is visible to both the local storage computer and cloud-based storage platform. This means whoever has access to the cloud-based platform that is in sync with the local folder will then see the changes made in the local folder. Dropbox is a leader in the sync technology, and this model that we’ve just described was actually first established by Drew Houston, the founder of Dropbox.

Dropbox executes their sync services in a unique manner, which has contributed significantly to their success. The brand includes a key sync characteristic referred to as the block-level file transfer. This feature, instead of sending the entire files that were edited, actually sends parts of the content which were edited or added. With this feature, the enterprise gets to save a significant amount of time and experience close to real-time syncing services.

Selective syncing is another great feature that has been adopted by most of the best enterprise file syncing service providers. With this feature, content syncing can be turned off to only store files in the cloud. Therefore, there is no need to worry about storage space on your local devices especially considering the growing trend of ultra-slim laptops that use SSDs with limited space.

Our Pick for Global EFSS Service: Dropbox

Dropbox is the master when it comes to syncing services. Although the brand employs similar techniques when it comes to uploading, storing and downloading files, the same cannot be said about syncing content. Dropbox also provides a selective sync feature which is called smart sync. Unlike in other platforms, where when you turn off sync on a particular folder you will not be able to see it on your local device, Dropbox allows users to access the files with the exception of seeing them when offline.  

As it turns out, Dropbox has quite a lot of competition. If you’re interested in learning more about this competition or other details, then you can read more about it online. You will be able to make up your mind about global EFSS with more details and up-to-date information. Even if we recommend Dropbox, you might find a competitor that suits your needs and company goals.

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