For many businesses today, collaboration among geographically separated employees is a must. Organizations are increasingly expanding and diversifying their operations, and flexibility is at a premium. As a result, it is not uncommon for firms to require direct, timely interaction among workers who may work from different offices or their own homes.
Naturally, this creates a number of challenges which must be overcome before collaboration can yield the best possible results. And among the most significant issues that must be addressed is data sharing and preservation. For these collaborative efforts to prove successful, employees must be able to send, receive and access data at or near real-time. If delays persist, or if the information is not adequately protected and preserved, the consequences may be dire. In particular, it is important to embrace a solution that ensures that files will not be inadvertently lost in the event of deletion or corruption.
Technology is essential in this regard. While the right tools can make collaboration easy and reliable, the wrong ones, or lack of solutions, can greatly undermine efficiency and productivity.
When it comes to ensuring that files remain available to all employees throughout an organization, regardless of physical location, wide area file services (WAFS) solutions may be the best option available.
Keeping files safe with WAFS
With a WAFS solution, a company can keep all of its relevant files and other data in a central vault. This vault can be stored on-premises or in a cloud environment. Any employee who has been authorized will be able to access the information stored in the central vault at any time, so long as he or she has a working Internet connection.
However, the utility of WAFS solutions does not end there. WAFS goes beyond consumer-grade file sharing offerings by increasing security and connectivity, as well as providing safeguards against the possibility of data loss.
WAFS solutions accomplish this last task by saving both a current and past version of every document as they are accessed. At no point will an employee be manipulating the sole copy of a given file.
This means that even if something goes awry, there will always be an up-to-date version of the file preserved.
Say, for example, that an employee uses the WAFS solution to access a shared Excel file. As he is manipulating the figures featured, something goes wrong: The file becomes corrupted. Whether this is due to a mistake made by the employee or circumstances beyond his control is irrelevant. All that matters is that the file is lost.
That is to say, it would be lost, if not for the WAFS solution's built-in backup. As soon as the employee accessed the Excel document in question, the WAFS program will have preserved a copy of the file in the central vault, thereby ensuring that the corruption that occurred does not result in lost information. Critically, this remains the case even if the employee attempts to save the corrupted file, unaware that it has been damaged. The earlier version of the document will remain available and can be restored easily by an administrator.
The same is also true if the employee accidentally deletes a file. Once again, an earlier version of the document is created and preserved, and can be accessed and restored easily.
WAFS solutions therefore make employee collaboration not only easy and fast, but safe. Documents are protected both from external threats and from internal errors that may otherwise damage corporate assets.