Consumer cloud storage rocks! I honestly don’t know what I’d do without Dropbox and iCloud. Dropbox gives me the ultimate way to ensure I’m always fully backed up, as well as making file sharing with friends and family a doddle. iCloud extends my iPhone storage to almost unlimited levels, and means I never need to worry about trimming down my photo library.
Enterprise cloud storage on the other hand is hopelessly deficient.
There are millions of terabytes of unused enterprise storage sitting in Microsoft and Google data centers, metaphorically gathering dust. While Office 365 and Google Apps have provided some excellent benefits to organisations as productivity and collaboration tools adoption of Google and Microsoft’s cloud storage has remained very low for many, if not most, organisations.
So, what are the barriers? Why aren’t organisations falling over themselves to remove the heavy and expensive burdens of on-premises network storage and move file storage to the much more cost-efficient cloud instead?
The problem comes from the way that the storage is accessed.
With almost all cloud storage providers, files are accessed and updated via synchronisation. This is great for consumers. It means that their files are immediately available on all their devices.
The problem in an enterprise environment is that storage shouldn’t be tied to specific devices, it should be linked to specific people. It shouldn’t matter which workstation you log-in to, you should see your files and folders, and you shouldn’t have to wait for what could be gigabytes of files to synchronise down to your machine.
Instead, the much more optimal solution is to securely map the cloud storage libraries as ‘Drives’ – exactly like the way people have been accessing storage for years, E:\ Z:\
You then need a solution that can handle the authentication (or more specifically ‘federation’ for enterprise environments) automatically and passively. This means the user only needs to login to the workstation and then the cloud storage authentication is handled as soon as they login without them even knowing.
IAM Cloud have a solution that does exactly this and it’s awesome. It’s called Cloud Drive Mapper, and it allows organisations to properly and securely adopt OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online across their organisations effortlessly. Within a few weeks, we will also be going live with our Google Apps/Google Drive compatibility too. Cloud Drive Mapper works with ADFS and IAM Cloud’s own federation service.
If cloud storage is going to be successful in enterprise organisational environments like businesses, charities and schools, then it needs to be powered by identity management, not device synchronisation. Luckily the problem has already been solved. Don’t let your massive amounts of cloud storage sit getting dusty, start driving adoption right now!