File Sync and Share Across a Mobile Landscape

March 11, 2016
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2 min read

Mobile Devices Open Doors in the Enterprise

The proliferation of consumer mobility and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs in the enterprise has increased the use of file synchronization and sharing offerings. However, there are limitations that can hinder individual productivity, such as:

  • Many devices have limited on-device storage and offer fragmented support for file system access.
  • The increasing number of devices per person poses a problem for data alignment and synchronization among all.

Personal cloud services such as Dropbox, Apple’s iCloud and Google Drive are simple and available free of charge, easily solving file sync and sharing problems between devices. This simplicity is why users are readily adopting these services.

But worker productivity and collaboration require content editing and manipulation capabilities beyond the ability to just move and share files; viewing and making annotations on work files are must-haves.

Four Reasons File Sync Is Growing More Popular

There are four key use cases that are driving the demand for mobile content and collaboration:

1. Access to Data

One example of the need for access is in the legal industry, where attorneys meeting a client over coffee might securely access confidential case documents from their mobile devices. In the health care sector, an example would be a doctor or nurse securely accessing patient information from a mobile tablet while in the patient’s hospital room.

2. Distribution of Documents

File sync assists in document distribution in disseminated environments. You could upload the latest product materials and competitive analysis to your sales team’s tablets. Or you can have up-to-the-minute inventory information at every retail store’s fingertips, provide digital textbooks to your students’ devices or send out quarterly financial documents to the board of directors with expiration settings and user restrictions.

3. Syncing Data Across Multiple Devices

File sync provides users the ability to view, edit and share last-minute changes to a presentation on the go, right before a customer meeting. Edits could be made on a smartphone in the cab yet appear on the overhead projector from the computer in the conference room.

4. Sharing Data

Whether it is the marketing team brainstorming ideas, executives pitching those ideas to a client or the finance team reporting the campaign results, the ability to share data internally with colleagues or externally with customers is key.

All of these examples can represent a potential security and compliance threat for an organization. Employees could share corporate documents with third parties or store documents on personal devices, completely outside of IT’s control.

Mobility Management Enables Productivity

With IBM MaaS360 enterprise mobility management (EMM), work on the go is simple, secure, shareable and, most importantly, managed by IT.

Mobile productivity starts with employee familiarity with the apps they use in their daily lives. With MaaS360, you can deliver content from Box, SharePoint, OneDrive and other repositories without the concern of data leakage that comes with consumer-class alternatives.

Mobile security has extended beyond simply managing devices. Today, true protection is achieved by managing the vast volumes of data these devices download, transform and share, as well.

Anar Taori
Senior Director of Product Management & Strategy, IBM

Anar Taori is responsible for product management, business development & strategy for IBM MaaS360, a market-leading, cloud-based Enterprise Mobility Mana...
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