Date: February 2014 Author: Terri McClure, Senior Analyst and Bill Lundell, Senior Research Analyst – Enterprise Strategy Group
The OFS market is rapidly maturing from file storage services for consumers to technology solutions that require features to effectively manage and secure business data. As part of this evolution, there is increasing demand for alternatives to the “one-size-fits-all,” cloud-based approach, especially among current OFS users who currently leverage that deployment model. The fact that more than two-thirds of these respondents would be extremely interested in a deployment model that allows some or all data to be stored on-premises is significant, albeit not surprising given that almost all respondent organizations have some types of data that is prohibited from being stored in a third-party data center.
ESG recently conducted an in-depth survey of 334 North American IT professionals representing small (fewer than 100 employees), midmarket (100 to 999 employees), and enterprise-class (1,000 employees or more) organizations to find out about their organizations’ usage of, interest in, and opinions regarding online file sharing and collaboration (OFS) services and deployment model preferences.1 The findings reveal that there has been significant adoption of and interest in OFS solutions for businesses as vendors have steadily expanded functionality and evolved to meet business objectives by layering additional features on top of basic sync and share capabilities, including deployment flexibility.
However, since many of the first OFS solutions offered a solely cloud-based solution in which both customer data and the administrative control plane are stored and executed in the service provider’s (cloud-based) data center, it is not surprising that surveyed organizations currently maintaining corporate OFS accounts overwhelmingly (84%) leverage the public cloud deployment model (see Figure 1).