Authors: Jim Lundy, Mike Anderson Date: May 25, 2012
Topic: Content Management Research Note Number: 2012-16
Issues: What trends are impacting content and how it is managed?
How will content management technologies and architectures evolve?
Summary: Cloud-based file sharing and content management are growing rapidly and reaching deep into enterprises. This has caught many off guard. We answer some of the leading questions arising as enterprises take on cloud content management.
Cloud-based file sharing and backup services started with a wave of individual users addressing tactical content management problems in an ad hoc way (see RN 2012-14, “What Led to the Rise of Cloud Content Management?”). However, use cases have expanded rapidly, and capabilities have grown with the demand. Enterprises are now acquiring full-fledged cloud-based content management services and deploying them in sometimes very large numbers across many business units.
Here, Aragon Research answers some of the questions we’ve been asked by clients who are trying to satisfy both their users’ needs for rich functionality, and their business requirements for security and manageability.
How many users at large enterprises use file-sharing services like DropBox?
Aragon estimates that 5-15% of enterprise workers have agreements with file sharing services. This is one of the main reasons that vendors are investing so much in this market. Acquisitions are also picking up as the larger vendors buy their way into the game.
Why are so many people using cloud-based content storage and sharing systems?
One big reason is limits on the sizes of email attachments. Enterprises often run email on older servers with limited disk drive space, requiring IT to put storage limits on their email systems. With the growth of mobile systems, users who “bring their own devices” (BYOD) can get around these restrictions on their own by contracting individually with retail cloud providers like DropBox, who offer storage free of such tight restrictions. The pressure to get work done will continue to drive users to seek new tools on their own.
How big is the issue of email file storage?
Limited email storage is a major problem for users today. Workers with small mailboxes are often forced to delete messages every day. Limits on the size of email attachments were set mainly for traditional document types, with typical file sizes of less than a megabyte. The rapid growth of multi-megabyte images, graphics, and video is outpacing the expansion of email storage. Many workers find that cloud-based solutions let them share files more directly and easily than struggling with email or using enterprise document management systems, which can be slow, complex, and difficult to access.
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