Is there a widening gap between users’ views of enterprise information management and the views of IT? Users continue to turn to Dropbox — even circumventing IT entirely — setting the stage for a battle between Dropbox and enterprise tools like Office 365 and SharePoint 2013, according to an article from Mark Fidelman on EndUserSharePoint.com. Many users now view IT as the “roadblock department,” with draconian policies that they see only hampering productivity and innovation.
Why do people use Dropbox, despite policies against it and potential security risks? The answer is simple: Users can download something, drop the files in Dropbox and access them from anywhere. It’s all about the ease of use and document sync. The documents are stored in the cloud and also accessible on the user’s hard drive.
However, Dropbox comes with well-known security risks that don’t make it an ideal place to store sensitive corporate data. Files in Dropbox can be compromised by SSL intercepts, code injection and other techniques, Fidelman explains.
A survey highlighted in the article found that 27 percent of workers who had shared a document through unauthorized cloud services had suffered negative repercussions, including lawsuits and lost business. Despite this, 41 percent of mobile business users had used unauthorized tools to share or sync documents, and 38 percent said a document shared that way had reached an unintended recipient.
“So chances are uncomfortably high that if your employees are using Dropbox at their discretion, they’ll make a big — and potentially costly — mistake,” the article states.
The good news is that the majority of the capabilities that make Dropbox so attractive to users are available in SharePoint, with the exception of the offline aspect. Users have to be connected to the network to access files in SharePoint, whereas Dropbox or Microsoft SkyDrive copies the files to users’ desktops, which allows for access when they’re offline.
We believe the broader lesson here is that to promote SharePoint user adoption, you must take a lesson from consumer apps and make it as simple and intuitive as possible. To fight “rogue IT,” that’s what enterprises have to do. Provide users with options that are equivalent to — if not better than — consumer apps. Finally, there must be communication about why “rogue IT” is dangerous, and why it’s important to keep corporate information within the corporate infrastructure.
Source: EndUserSharePoint.com, September 2013