The Slow Burning Crisis of Selective Sync

File synchronisation in enterprise IT environments is almost always bad. 

It's bad because: It doesn't work on machines accessed by multiple users. It's hopeless in VDI and other non-persistent environments. It has terrible performance when switching to a new machine. It's poor security practice to keep critical corporate data on local devices like laptops, and may even end up in breaches of data protection law. It quickly fills up devices with low-to-mid size hard drives. It ties data to the devices themselves, instead of the people using them (devices don't have accountability, people do). The special folders used in most sync clients are often unrecognised by legacy applications, meaning that they still rely on local file servers to save their legacy app data. Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad. 

The issues above led us to create Cloud Drive Mapper, and they're the reasons it's become so popular. They're also the reasons that Dropbox created 'Dropbox Infinite', Google created 'Google File Stream' and Microsoft created 'OneDrive Files on Demand'. Dropbox, G-Suite and Office 365's "selective sync" offerings.

On the surface of it, selective sync helps organisations overcome a number of the issues raised above. And it actually does, for a while.

When you first adopt selective sync (e.g. OneDrive Files on Demand) in your organisation you feel like you've cured a major headache. But what you've actually done is just postponed it. Your users don't think like you. They do what they want to do. And if syncing files is convenient for them, then they'll sync files. And over-time they will sync more and more data to their devices. It is a 'tragedy of the commons'-like problem. They'll sync the files because it's convenient for each individual user, but that convenience comes at a heavy cost to the organisation as a whole. 

The more data they sync, the more you'll see the issues raised above creeping back in. Selective sync, is better than full sync, but it is still not a viable long-term solution for securely managing or accessing your files in the cloud. It is a slow-burning crisis that will creep up on you and cause major problems in the future. 

The only permanent and sustainable solution to effectively and securely manage cloud file storage is via direct access, not sync. And the best solution for that is Cloud Drive Mapper. Check it out for yourself, sign up to a free trial today. 


Topics: cloud drive mapper

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