Three ways secure file sharing can improve business operations

Feb 13th, 2014 / Category: Wide Area File Services

In order to keep corporate data resources and sensitive information safe, many companies implement policies restricting how documents can be shared and accessed. At the same time, employees benefit from the ability to collaborate on projects, draw on central knowledge resources and access information from remote locations. As the enterprise environment changes to embrace greater flexibility in working arrangements, these issues threaten to make companies choose between performance and security. Worse, some employees disregard restrictions on data movement for the sake of convenience, putting company resources at risk. Secure file sharing solutions can make it possible for businesses to have the best of both worlds.

With solutions such as Wide Area File Services (WAFS), organizations can keep their data protected with high-end security measures. At the same time, they can offer their employees convenient ways to enjoy the benefits of sharing information. Among other advantages, file sharing solutions facilitate collaboration, mobility and productivity without sacrificing security.

Culture of collaboration
With secure file sharing solutions, employees can coordinate on projects without requiring them to be in the same room or download documents on their devices. Solutions designed for corporate use provide higher security than consumer-facing products such as Google Drive and Dropbox, but they offer the same advantages. Users can readily find and access the information they need, see the latest version without getting mixed up in long email chains and be confident that their work won't be accidentally overwritten by a colleague. 

According to The Huffington Post, collaboration is the future of the workplace, replacing more competitive environments of old. Workers can combine their expertise and join in on team projects. The blog noted that a collaborative culture fosters positive employee relationships and increases engagement. Individual work becomes more meaningful to employees when they see how it contributes to greater projects and the work of the organization as a whole, the source explained. This positive environment and convenient tools can also help improve employee retention, InformationWeek noted.

Mobilized resources
By allowing workers to access company information remotely and on various platforms, secure file sharing solutions give employees greater mobility than ever before. While companies might not want their workers to download company data to their personal devices, particularly out of concern that they might take data with them if they leave the company, they can facilitate remote working while keeping their documents secure within the corporate system.

InformationWeek explained that by increasing mobility, organizations can improve activities such as interacting with customers and engaging with partners. For example, salespeople can visit prospective clients and access data to answer questions on the spot or present impressive reports to address a client's concerns. Mobility also allows remote workers to update company resources in real time. Further, businesses can maintain more of their operations when emergencies such as bad weather force them to close offices.

Productivity gains
The Huffington Post blog said that working together on projects helps employees to be more productive. In addition to this performance improvement, a secure file sharing solution can increase productivity by streamlining business operations. Frequently, employees believe that emailing documents is the most efficient way to share information with each other. However, Marketing Profs contested this myth, explaining that email can create "information silos" and lost responses. On average, employees spend 28 percent of their time managing email, the source said, so reducing the time it takes to search through messages and respond to chains of correspondence can allow workers to focus their energy on other tasks. The time savings are even greater when employees no longer have to complete extra steps, such as manual encryption, to make sure documents are secure.