1 Moving to the Cloud: What Every CIO Should Know CONTACT SALES US: UK: +44 (0) WHITEPAPER Overview Enterprise data storage needs are growing exponentially, doubling approximately every two years. As a result, businesses are looking to cloud storage solutions to help them scale and satisfy their exploding storage needs. At a high level, moving to a public cloud has many benefits, including the ability to: Convert capital expenditures (CAPEX) from hardware purchases into operational expenses (OPEX), with subscription-based plans from a cloud storage provider. Scale to allow the business to grow beyond the capabilities of the current IT infrastructure. Collaborate effectively with both internal and external collaborators. Access and share business files on the go. Reduce costs on server maintenance and eliminate complex tools, such as VPNs, FTPs and backup systems. Along with these benefits, however, there are a number of hidden costs and risks that can jeopardize the business case for moving to cloud storage. This white paper examines some of the most often overlooked requirements that are critical for businesses to consider as they look to adopt cloud file-sharing solutions. The paper also provides a checklist for CIOs to help them assess cloud solutions to ensure they can choose the right provider to meet their needs. It reviews the options available, so organizations can adopt the right cloud solution at their own pace, without forcing a costly rip-and-replace of existing infrastructure. Strategic Assessment of Cloud File-Sharing Providers The ability to collaborate across teams, offices and firms is now table-stakes for businesses. As a result, most businesses have already made significant investments in file-sharing infrastructure, such as NAS, SAN and Windows Servers..
2 Moving to The Cloud Whitepaper 2 This means the security policies for content sharing, as well as the file structure and business processes have been designed and optimized around an existing file-sharing model. Moving to the cloud should give organizations the ability to gain the benefits of the cloud without having to redesign and implement new underlying infrastructure and processes. IT and end users are familiar with the traditional file-sharing model where each user stores files in a company designated Home Folder and can share those files with numerous groups and departments. Permissions, reporting and workflows have been built and accumulated over the life of the organization around this model. To achieve a seamless migration to cloud storage, there needs to be a way to migrate the same setup in a cloud environment. CIOs should evaluate different cloud file sharing providers based on the business implications of their feature sets and underlying architectures. Some solutions may look attractive, in terms of providing cloud benefits to users, but may lack deployment options suited to accommodate the existing infrastructure, leading to costly constraints and failures over time. The following are the four major requirements that will help businesses evaluate whether the solution will meet their needs: 1. Security and Control Does the cloud solution provide comparable security models and controls to an on premises setup to ensure data protection? Are the controls available to manage file and user permissions analogous to the on premises capabilities? 2. Migration Costs Does the cloud solution have a cost-effective data migration process that preserves content structure and integrity and ensures uninterrupted access to critical data? Does the cloud solution provide flexibility to choose deployment models that enable a business to migrate to the cloud at its own pace? 3. Business Disruption Does the cloud solution integrate with the multiple applications (e.g., SFDC, Google Docs, MS Office) that different groups and business users may be using? Does the solution preserve the folder hierarchy, so users do not have to learn a new folder structure or be forced to use other applications that they may have never used before? 4. Collaboration Is the solution simple and easy to use? Will the solution facilitate file sharing with users both internal and external to the organization? Does the solution
3 Moving to The Cloud Whitepaper 3 give users the flexibility to work from any location with on-the-go access? Will all employees, regardless of their affinity for new technologies, be able to easily adopt the solution? Any solution that falls short of these fundamental requirements will likely cause serious problems for an organization in the future. For example, the lack of a scalable solution can lead to major service interruptions and create content silos that result in significant management overhead for IT. Security and data integrity issues can have major compliance, financial and legal implications. Let s look in more detail at what CIOs and IT managers should be carefully assessing within these areas before picking a cloud service provider. 1. SECURITY AND CONTROL To ensure IT can consistently apply controls over their content, they need to confirm the content management model they use on premises is portable to the cloud. If the solution doesn t support a comparable model, the organization risks losing the fidelity of their content and compromising the folder hierarchy that is used to manage all their users, groups, content and permissions. CIOs and IT departments require a granular user management and authentication platform that covers users inside and outside of the organization (e.g., contractors, customers and suppliers). Most cloud content collaboration providers have little to no user management capabilities to control collaboration and file sharing with users outside of the organization, making businesses vulnerable to data leakage and security lapses that could have compliance and regulatory implications. An enterpriseclass cloud file service should provide the administrator with centralized control over all users (i.e., internal, external, individuals and groups). This includes strict audit tracking and compliance capabilities, the ability to set policies on mobile device usage and remotely wipe data in case of loss or theft, and the highest levels of data encryption - both in transit and at rest. 2. MIGRATION COSTS Once an organization decides to move to the cloud, the data needs to be migrated. If the file services cannot migrate the existing folder hierarchy, while preserving permissions at the folder, subfolder and file level, it can mean the business needs to manually create a new hierarchy before or after migrating the data to the cloud. This can be a lengthy process and command considerable financial and IT resources; manual migration processes can not only take a long time but are also prone to errors, due to IT dealing with a large set of data. As
4 Moving to The Cloud Whitepaper 4 a result, the benefits of the cloud (e.g., mobile access, internal and external collaboration, centralized user access management) cannot be realized right away, lowering the overall return on investment (ROI) of the project. Organizations should consider solutions that can migrate the complete hierarchy, including the folder- and subfolder-level permissions to make it a fast, seamless process. Make sure the cloud provider does not compromise the integrity of the data during the migration. Many of them do not import original timestamps, which could lead to costly legal/compliance issues and contractual breaches. They also do not migrate user permissions from the local file servers, putting a burden on the IT team to manually recreate permissions for users in the cloud. This can considerably extend the migration process, costing more time and money, not to mention the potential for more human error to be introduced. Most cloud providers do not natively integrate with LDAP solutions, such as Active Directory (AD), which forces the company to use third-party Single Sign-On (SSO) services. The alternative is to create a new set of login credentials for the cloud, which becomes even more burdensome for the IT department to manage and maintain. Note - businesses should look for providers that support hybrid deployments, where content can reside both on premises and in the cloud. A solution that can support hybrid deployments provides an insurance policy against any potential issues encountered in the cloud. A hybrid deployment is essential for certain types of content, such as large video or design files that are prone to latency issues when only available in the cloud. At the same time, it enables IT admins to have full control over certain confidential or regulated content by ensuring that content is only stored on premises. A hybrid deployment allows businesses to maximize the utility of their existing infrastructure, address compliance requirements (which may dictate that data must be stored on premises and not in the cloud), ensure optimal access performance, reduce bandwidth usage, allow data to be brought back on premises and the organization to change cloud providers whenever needed, and much more. 3. BUSINESS DISRUPTION Moving to the cloud represents a major structural change that can have a huge productivity impact on the company. The goal for such a migration should be to obtain all the benefits of the cloud without requiring employees to change their workflows or learn complicated new software. The smaller the learning curve, the better the chances employees will adopt the new solution.
5 Moving to The Cloud Whitepaper 5 The move to the cloud shouldn t modify the location of files or create redundant copies that can negatively impact productivity. It is important for all users to have the same view over the universal file structure to ensure the new content collaboration tool seamlessly fits into their productivity environment. As noted earlier, if the file structure and management tools can t be preserved, it can result in an expensive migration process that is laborious, time consuming and prone to errors. Working with multiple management tools and structures, one for on premises and another for the cloud, adds complexity and time to the ongoing management, coordination and orchestration of the file sharing services. Lastly, how the solution enables IT to achieve a balance between the centralization of the infrastructure and the autonomy of different regions or business units should be considered. For example, a global advertising company operating in Europe and North America may need to provide semi-independent management to its European and U.S. subsidiaries over their respective content strategies in the cloud, while maintaining a centralized management infrastructure. Or, a construction firm operating multiple projects may need to spin up the infrastructure to support content sharing needs of each of their projects and provides independent administration and branding to project managers. At the same time, that firm s IT team still needs to retain control and management over all users and files. Most solutions are limited in their ability to manage separate entities of a company. This can impede collaboration and often leads to users going around the organization by adopting Shadow IT solutions to meet each business unit or project s needs. A truly scalable solution should empower IT to maintain complete control and visibility, while enabling the business to grow well beyond its current state and maximize employee productivity by being able to provide sub-admin capabilities for business leaders or project managers responsible for their respective business groups. 4. COLLABORATION Cloud collaboration solutions should enable users to easily create, edit and share data. The solution should support a powerful and intuitive Web interface, seamless mobile access and a flexible account management system. Since files have been traditionally shared in many different ways (i.e., file transfer, USB drives, FTP), the solution should integrate with these tools and be intuitive enough that users want to adopt it.
6 Moving to The Cloud Whitepaper 6 The solution should be designed for all users, regardless of their familiarity with cloud collaboration solutions. Lack of adoption is a significant hurdle for any large-scale IT deployment. Employees come from all different backgrounds; they are trained to use different technologies - from FTPs and local file servers to consumer-grade services - and are used to different file-sharing solutions. Getting everyone on board with a single solution can be a challenge, particularly if the cloud service provider restricts users to a single, unfamiliar interface. A strong cloud collaboration service provider should provide seamless integration with the existing infrastructure and offer fast access to files that are required to stay on premises. IT should look at a solution that enables tight integration with multiple productivity applications. An open architecture would enable different business groups within an organization to continue to use the productivity applications they prefer for sharing content. This will also ensure a more seamless and unified user experience, enabling users to collaborate both with internal and external users that may be using different productivity tools. Cloud Solution Evaluation Checklist Moving to the cloud offers many benefits that can have a sizable impact on an organization, in terms of financial metrics, business agility, growth capacity and productivity. Moving a company s data into the cloud (whether complete data or partial data) represents a big decision for CIOs and IT departments, since the cloud can have serious implications on data security, employee behavior, workflow and costs. As such, it commands a thoughtful analysis of the implications of partnering with one cloud provider versus another. Below is a simple checklist for CIOs to help them assess cloud collaboration solutions and ensure they can choose the right cloud provider to meet their needs.
7 Moving to The Cloud Whitepaper 7 FEATURE WHY IT IS IMPORTANT SECURITY AND CONTROL Unified Internal & External User Management Native Mobile Device Control for Remote Wipe Audit and Compliance Capabilities Timestamps Preserved IT retains complete control over internal AND external collaborators Integrated MDM capabilities Data security and regulatory compliance Data integrity is preserved for legal / compliance reasons MIGRATION Exact Replication of On Premises Folder Hierarchy Permissions Migration Native AD Integration Staged Migration with Access to Local File Shares Future-Proof Hybrid Deployment Option Lower implementation costs (no need to reorganize data) and ease of migration (including at subfolder level) IT does not need to recreate complex permissions in the cloud Automatically add/modify users with Active Directory integration VPN can be replaced immediately, even as the data migrates to the cloud Support for on premises and cloud storage to adapt to business needs over time BUSINESS DISRUPTION Network Drive Support Common File Structure Access for End Users Limitations Due to File or Folder Size Account Management for Multiple Sites and Multiple Domains Unified access to content on both desktop and mobile devices Reduce information silos and redundant files, making migration seamless to end users Ensure fast, convenient sharing, even for large files Control distinct business entities and delegate from a centralized interface COLLABORATION Intuitive UI integrating with Native OS Mobile Access Faster Sync Unified User Experience Fast adoption by end-users, no training required Ability to access data from mobile devices with support for BYOD Workflow support across any devices (desktop and mobile) and any productivity application Workflow support across any devices (desktop and mobile) and any productivity application
8 Moving to The Cloud Whitepaper 8 How Egnyte meets these criteria Egnyte s Adaptive Enterprise File Services are designed to combine the best of the traditional file sync and share model with the benefits and agility of the cloud. Thousands of enterprises around the globe rely on Egnyte to easily, securely and intelligently access and share files that reside on premises and in the cloud. Egnyte addresses the needs of both the business users and IT admins, delivering: 1. End-to-End Security providing advanced access and control features for administrators, unmatched by most cloud-only service providers. Administrators have full visibility and centralized control over users and permissions, at any folder or subfolder level, on any device, including mobile devices. 2. Hybrid Deployments for Seamless Migration supporting a smooth migration process at a customer s own pace, with a choice of on premises, cloud and hybrid deployments. Egnyte enables businesses to stage their migration and determine exactly where they want to store their data. Egnyte also helps organizations lower costs and maximize the utility of their existing infrastructure during a migration, porting file sync and share permissions and preserving timestamps to ensure controls can be consistently applied. 3. An Open Architecture to Support Any Device or Productivity Application delivering a unified experience that integrates with the way users work. With a rich set of productivity clients for desktop and mobile devices, anyone, anywhere can use Egnyte to quickly and securely access and share files. 4. Effective Collaboration ensuring users can easily collaborate with others, both inside and outside their organization, regardless of the devices or productivity applications they are using. It s Time to Choose a Provider When and how to move to the cloud is a major decision that CIOs and IT leaders everywhere are facing as they look to cloud storage solutions to help them scale and satisfy their exploding storage needs. For all the scale, CAPEX, OPEX and productivity benefits the cloud offers, businesses also need to understand the potential costs and risks that come with the cloud storage solution they are considering. Businesses must assess the security, control and infrastructure implications that a migration to the cloud can have on productivity and ongoing operations to ensure the maximum benefit from the cloud content collaboration provider. Egnyte
9 Moving to The Cloud Whitepaper 9 delivers the secure, open Adaptive Enterprise File Services that enable businesses to strengthen their security, optimize their operations and reduce their costs. With Egnyte, businesses can easily support hybrid deployments, on premises and in the cloud, to ensure policies can be applied consistently and compliance achieved at all times. Egnyte delivers a solution that uniquely anticipates the needs of users and IT departments, so they can easily, securely and intelligently access and share files, with people both inside and outside the organization, using whatever device or productivity app they want. READY TO GET STARTED? Start a free trial or contact our sales team today. Start 15-Day Free Trial Contact Sales US: UK: +44 (0) Corporate HQ 1350 W. Middlefield Road Mountain View, CA USA London Office 6-9 The Square Stockley Park, Heathrow UB11 1FW Egnyte is the market leader in Adaptive Enterprise File Services that uniquely anticipate IT and end users needs to securely, easily and intelligently share files on premises and in the cloud. Egnyte s award-winning platform integrates with any cloud, storage, device and business application to enable customers to optimize their collaboration environments through secure access, centralized control and unified visibility. Egnyte enables IT to make informed decisions on infrastructureutilization and workflows and end users to access unique content intelligence to proactively adapt their content sharing, management and protection strategies.
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