More than 60 percent of workers access corporate content outside the office, through mobile devices as well as desktops, according to a 2011 report from Forrester Research Inc. Executives should be alarmed. After all, who's to say that company information isn't being shared with the wrong people or stored in consumer cloud applications such as Google Drive or Dropbox, which feature no encryption or access management capabilities? Such situations pose particular problems for regulated verticals such as health care and finance. For channel partners, all of this points to a revenue opportunity in secure mobile file sharing. With the right permissions and best practices in place, the risks of mobile file sharing go down, and an organization's productivity and peace of mind go up.
File sharing is a function of document management platforms, which put an organization's content, version management and discussions in one place. Many solutions work with Oracle, Salesforce.com, human resource systems and other common business applications. Besides file sharing, document management also includes workflow processes, retention and archiving of records, eDiscovery and reporting for audits and compliance. Last year, research firm TechNavio said the global document management systems market would realize a compound annual growth rate of 13.98 percent between 2012 and 2016. However, analysts said, fears about data security could inhibit that increase. Again, that's where choosing the right suppliers can make an important difference.
Of course, document management within an organization is useful for efficiencies and security reasons, but it becomes essential when documents travel outside the organization as they do with mobile devices. This is increasingly the way work is done. Forrester says the percentage of workers who use mobile devices for work will reach 42 percent of all corporate personnel by 2015, up from 22 percent in 2011. Indeed, that means the ability to access, read, edit and share files from tablets and smartphones is critical.
Laura Padilla, channel chief at Box, agreed. "Work is no longer a place you go, it's defined by what you do. And mobile is now a viable productivity channel," she said. Anchor's Pierra Tapia, product vice president, echoed that. "The days of employees accessing information from a single computer are long gone."
That reality should sound the alarm bells for business leaders anxious about keeping data out of the wrong hands and protecting it from loss. Not to worry — a number of vendors with channel programs have developed document management platforms with secure mobile file sharing in mind. Here's a look at some of those suppliers' assurances: