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So far Ion Networking has created 11 blog entries.
BYOD: What is it, and why do it?
BYOD refers to “bring your own device” — a business environment where employees of an organization are permitted to use their own laptops, tablets and other mobile devices in lieu of company provided ones.
Why is this done? Aside from saving money, the primary reasons companies allow this are:
- Familiarity: This may be the most obvious reason for workers to bring their own tablet or laptop to work. It may be the operating system, web browser or other apps on their devices that they know and feel comfortable using. They don’t have to live in two electronic worlds at the same time.
- Simplicity: Companies have been providing their employees mobile phones for business use for a few decades. Now those employees carry two phones, since everyone also has a personal phone. This can be a nuisance for your employees. It is hard enough to care for one mobile phone, and now they worry about two of them. The reality is that companies expect employees to be in contact 24/7, so company devices can’t be used only at work. They have to be carried home, out to the store, etc. If the employees have a choice they would much rather carry just one phone, their own, enabling them to be reachable by family and friends anytime. This can also be cheaper for everyone if the company offers to share the cost of using their device.
- Productivity: Convenience can also result in better productivity. Having fewer devices means fewer distractions. Fewer distractions equals less wasted time. Saving time is always good for productivity.
- Employee Relations: It makes employees feel good to be able to use their own devices at work. Higher employee morale is very important for any organization. Happier employees are more likely to work hard. So, if an employer gives its employees the liberty to bring their own devices to work, it may have more satisfied workers.
As a result, most firms have migrated to a BYOD policy. In later blogs, we’ll talk about why a BYOD environment leads to another reason to use an enterprise grade File Sync & Share (FSS) solution.
Increase Mobile Productivity with FSS
If you are going to expect your employees to work off the clock, and to do so at home, in the car, in a hotel or the backyard, they are going to be far more effective and willing to do so if you make it as easy as possible. One way to do that is to provide them with a business-grade set of collaboration tools that make document sharing easy. Sending Word documents back and forth for markups among a group is tedious and is a recipe for version control tragedies.
Instead, consider the value of a complete collaboration tool that everyone can access from anywhere using any type of device that makes document access and collaboration easy and secure. Your employees and your bottom line will appreciate the increase in productivity.
Make File Sharing with Clients Easy
What’s going on in your organization? Have you ever considered that your file sharing environment is a critical client touchpoint? Consider these questions:
- Can they learn the system quickly?
- Is it used across the entire organization, or do individual units use different tools?
- Can a client access via any mobile device whenever it is convenient?
- Is everything accessible via all operating systems?
- Do they feel secure sharing confidential data?
Sharing and collaboration should be easy, intuitive and secure.
Every client touchpoint matters, and if your collaboration tools are perceived to be insecure, clunky, disjointed or inaccessible, you potentially damage a piece of your brand and your client relationships.
Check for Gaps When It Comes to Sharing Files
When an employee needs to share information, how are they doing it? There is a good chance they are emailing Word docs or PDFs, texting attachments or using any type of file sharing product they are familiar with. Perhaps when they work collaboratively with a client, they use whatever the client is familiar with.
An important factor in corporate security is implementing an FSS solution that provides not only ease of use, but the highest level of security available. A good FSS platform eliminates the need to email files. It also creates optional levels of access that includes password protection, view only and download permissions.
In short, give a serious look at what is happening with file sharing at the individual employee level when you do the next security audit at your company. You may find a significant gap that threatens your data integrity.
The 3 Necessities of True collaboration: A Primer
Very simply, FSS is a software service that allows you to share all manner of files, documents, spreadsheets and images within an organization as well as with outside third parties, such as customers and prospects. For the average user, the benefit is the ability to work collaboratively using any device or operating system, without having to figure out how to make that all work. However, there is more to a holistic FSS than ease of use. There are 3 key aspects to any complete FSS platform.
These are features such as:
- Easy access to documents, from anywhere, at any time.
- All changes to any file are immediately synced across all devices and file servers without any active intervention by the customers.
- No size limits.
- Integration with your existing systems, such as Salesforce, Outlook and Microsoft 365.
This is the “behind the scenes” part of a complete FSS solution. File sharing for businesses should be easy and totally transparent. However, it must also be secure. Most importantly, it needs to be meeting industry standards for security. Consumer-grade sharing tools for family photos aren’t appropriate in a business setting. Effective security should include encryption that covers all three points in the content lifecycle: in-session, transit and on-device.
Collaboration isn’t effective until you permit universal mobile access that is simple to use. This is the final key to an enterprise FSS platform. As people are pushing their work to mobile from every location imaginable, the ability to access via iOS and Android is an absolute requirement, along with the entire file sharing process. Features such as automated document QR coding make it easy to quickly find a document from a small screen device.
In summary, a complete FSS solution must address the need for workplace collaboration, security and easy mobile access. Without all three, your FSS solution won’t support the needs of your organization.
The big picture on access: Is it time for a policy?
The availability of these features is a great starting point for your organization to discuss broader policies for determining access.
When you adopt a File Sync & Share (FSS) solution, it’s a great opportunity to define internal policies about file access (who should see it), content (who can change it) and data integrity (from where can it be accessed). As your enterprise grows, the need for strict policy guidance to control your data will only become more important.
Does two-factor identification matter for file sharing?
First, what is it? Two-factor authentication requires two different forms of identification to verify an employee. In general, the idea behind it is that the two forms of identification aren’t necessarily closely linked to each other: the possession of one form of ID doesn’t reveal the factor in the other ID.
What does this have to do with File Sync & Share (FSS) platforms? Organizations routinely share very confidential files among employees as well as third parties. All this sharing is occurring on external networks and via a wide variety of non-secure devices. This means the security that is built into an FSS platform is exceptionally important.
Anyone who follows any business news is aware of the severe consequences of a data breach. You should look carefully at the level of security offered by any file sharing tool that your organization is using. One of the security factors you should be using for everyone is a two-factor system. Your business data is too important to not need that extra step.
End Version Control Nightmares
If you answered yes, here are four reasons to stop doing this:
- Time delays – Edits cannot happen in real time. You write the document, send it, they review and edit it, add comments, then they send it back to you. You receive it and make the changes, then send a revised version back to them. Meanwhile, they’ve moved on to some other task. Now you’re waiting for their second review.
- Version control – Each time you create or edit a Word doc, you save it before you send it. And the recipient who edits it does the same. No matter how careful you may be with naming protocols, the fact remains that there are multiple versions of that document out there, and there is no guarantee that an older version won’t be used or distributed improperly.
- Lack of collaboration – Because reviews can’t take place in real time, there cannot be any real-time, on-screen “conversation” among collaborators, increasing the potential for miscommunication and a poor flow of ideas in the document.
- Impractical for life on the move – When you’re offsite and mobile, it’s frustrating to have to try to make edits to a document that can only be accessed from one machine.
The takeaway? Now is a good time to start using a secure enterprise grade file sharing solution.
Use FSS as a Good Branding Opportunity
Are they collaborating with clients over different platforms?
Sharing files via email, text and consumer-grade File Sync & Share (FSS)?
Aside from the security risks you are taking and the (in)convenience factor, is this really putting the company in the best light?
Think about the impact to your branding when you share files with a client using clunky, hard-to-use tools, methods that risk data security, or unintuitive platforms that require a learning curve for your clients and prospects. You inconvenience them and you put their files at risk. It sends a negative message—one that could harm your brand.
Remember, any customer touch point is a “branding”moment.