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ESG Research Finds Businesses Rapidly Adopting Online File Sharing and Collaboration

Online file sharing and collaboration (OFS) is taking hold at the corporate level. According to the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), a leading IT research, analysis, and strategy firm, 28% of organizations have already established corporate accounts for online storage and file sharing services. That number is expected to grow to 50% over the next year, according to ESG’s survey of nearly 500 IT professionals at small, medium, and large organizations.

The complete results of ESG’s comprehensive survey are captured in the new ESG Research Report, Corporate Online File Sharing and Collaboration Market Trends.

OFS solutions are Internet-based services that enable users to store, access, share, and collaborate on documents and other files in the cloud. These services have become popular in recent years as people look for ways to access their documents from multiple devices, including traditional PCs, tablet computers, and smartphones.

“By now, many, if not most, knowledge workers have been exposed to some form of consumer online file storage service such as Dropbox or Box,” says Terri McClure, ESG Senior Analyst and co-author of the report. “However, the fact that these services have been rapidly adopted by consumers on a personal basis, often via their smartphone’s app store, has led to a situation in which companies are increasingly looking to standardize their employees’ use of these services through company-owned and -managed accounts. Our research validates that IT and business professionals are serious about making OFS services a company-wide resource for their employees.”

Among the report’s other key findings:

  • Organizations are adopting formal corporate OFS service plans for two main reasons: The first involves increasing employee productivity via improved collaboration capabilities. The second reason relates to improving the employee experience and safeguarding the security of corporate data by making sure that all employees use the same company-approved, company-managed service.
  • To date, corporate OFS services have been adopted primarily by a relatively limited selection of individuals and groups within organizations, but deployments are now beginning to expand further within and beyond organizational walls. For instance, within three years, the percent of organizations sharing and collaborating with outside organizations such as customers and business partners will reach 53%, up from 35% today.
  • Security concerns are the biggest roadblock to adoption. Concern over potential security vulnerabilities—such as data loss, theft, or risk of regulatory compliance violations—is the top reason that organizations are not deploying OFS.

“OFS vendors are seeing significant uptake from individuals and, now, businesses,” says Kristine Kao, Market Research Analyst and co-author of the report. “However, customers are feeling growing pains as they implement these services. For example, customers surveyed by ESG cite the need to train employees and struggle with managing rogue personal accounts. This new research report can help prospective OFS customers understand the challenges their peers are facing and help OFS vendors identify the areas they can help customers through improved products and services.”

The ESG report is the most comprehensive of its kind specifically covering the rapidly growing market for business-oriented online file sharing and collaboration services. It provides valuable insights to any organization currently considering an OFS solution, and it assists vendors of OFS solutions, traditional file servers, NAS storage, and content management systems.

The report includes:

  • Current and projected OFS adoption rates by business users
  • Reasons organizations do or don’t use corporate OFS accounts
  • Characteristics of typical OFS deployments
  • Key purchasing criteria that organizations are using to compare OFS solutions
  • Most important features that organizations require from an OFS solution
  • Impact of OFS services on existing file storage and collaboration technologies

An abstract of the report is available online at http://www.esg-global.com/research-reports/corporate-online-file-sharing-and-collaboration-market-trends/.

About Enterprise Strategy Group

Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) is an integrated IT research, analysis, and strategy firm that is world-renowned for providing actionable insight and intelligence to the global IT community. Recognized for its unique blend of capabilities—including market research, hands-on technical product validation, and expert consulting methodologies such as the ESG Strategy Lifecycle—ESG is relied upon by IT professionals, technology vendors, investors, and the media to clarify the complex.

For more information visit: www.esg-global.com.

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