Essential Guide

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The ultimate guide to cloud-based file sharing

Cloud-based file sharing is a staple in the toolkits of many employees, but IT can use the cloud to make work easier too.

For many workers, cloud-based file sharing is indispensable: They use it for lots of different purposes, and they reach for it often.

The cloud can be helpful for IT administrators, too, but there are some caveats. You have to know the basics about the cloud, and then you have to choose the right cloud-based file-sharing service. You also have to trust your users not to mishandle company data. If those stars align for you, then employees' cloud use can reduce your workload, improve their productivity and happiness at work, and save your company money.

Read on to learn more about the benefits and drawbacks of cloud-based file sharing in the enterprise, including some expert tips and approaches to make the cloud work for you.

In the know

1. Cloud-based file-sharing technology

Before you get started with cloud file sharing, there are some things you need to know. It's important to stay up to date on cloud terms. You also need to know about the benefits of cloud: Using it can save your company money, but you don't always need to look to third-party providers. You should be familiar with the limitations of cloud-based file sharing because it's not a magic pill. And it's critical that you know what to look for in a cloud service provider.

  • Ten cloud file-sharing terms

    It's not easy to keep up with all the technologies and terms that go along with cloud-based file sharing because the market is constantly changing. Check out this guide to cloud definitions to brush up on the basics.

    Definitions Guide

  • Ten more cloud-based file-sharing definitions

    If the first ten terms weren't enough for you, here are ten more you can read up on. These are a little more advanced and include newer terms such as SoMoClo and SoLoMo.

    Definitions Guide

  • Need-to-know info about cloud-based file sharing

    Companies use the cloud and file sharing for different reasons. Sometimes it's to give workers access to files and data, and sometimes the cloud is an alternative to old-school backups. Regardless of how or why you use the cloud, you need to know about its weaknesses.


  • Users ditch file servers, VPNs with cloud file sharing

    Employees' cloud-based file-sharing habits let IT get rid of file servers -- and the management and maintenance woes that go along with them -- and can reduce the costs associated with virtual private networks.


  • You don't need public cloud for mobile file sharing

    The terms cloud and mobile file-sharing aren't the same thing, and you don't need to turn to the cloud to enable file sharing. Many providers have on-premises tools that can get the job done.


  • Evaluating six enterprise cloud storage services

    There are tons of cloud storage services to choose from, including Dropbox for Business, Box, Google Drive. When you're looking to pick a provider, make sure you know what features you can get from each service, and make sure those features meet users' needs.


Mail and apps

2. Cloud email and productivity applications

Though concerns over the security of corporate data in personal cloud apps and email accounts might keep you up at night, IT actually has a lot to gain Cloud email, apps and productivity suites have become a part of the way employees work today. Though concerns over the security of corporate data in personal cloud apps and email accounts might keep you up at night, IT actually has a lot to gain. If you trust your users to do the right thing and you select the right cloud providers, cloud apps and email can decrease your overhead and your workload, all while improving employee productivity.

  • How cloud storage and collaboration affect email

    Communication via email isn't dead and it probably won't go away any time soon. But social networking, cloud storage and collaboration tools make teaming up with co-workers a lot easier.


  • Will cloud email replace enterprise mail?

    You might not like employees using personal cloud email at work, but that doesn't have to be the case. Cloud email has advantages such as improved flexibility and lower operating costs.


  • Where file sharing and email meet

    Sometimes files are too big to send from a corporate email account, and that's one time that users turn to personal email accounts. Services such as Gmail can support those big attachments because they're sent through the cloud.


  • Five cloud app suites and collaboration services

    Cloud-based business application suites and collaboration services can be appealing for IT because they require fewer IT resources and less maintenance. Check out these five options, including Office 365 and Google Apps for Business.


  • To make cloud productivity apps work, trust users

    If you can trust your workers and the cloud service providers you've chosen to be careful with how they handle your company's data, then cloud apps can help users do their jobs and lighten IT's workload.


  • How to deliver cloud-based mobile apps

    If there's one lesson to be learned from Bob Villa, it's to measure twice and cut once. But when it comes to building mobile cloud apps, write your apps one time for all the OSes you support, then deploy those apps many times.


  • With cloud-based file-sharing apps, take back control over data

    It's easy for workers to use personal cloud services to store and share data and do so without any IT oversight. But if you offer employees cloud file-sharing apps to use, you'll know where company data is being stored.


Lock it up

3. The cloud and security concerns

Cloud services have been hacked and corporate data has leaked. It may not have happened to your company, and it might not in the future, but there are still some concerns around the security of cloud storage services and file-sharing tools. Make sure you know how data can be compromised and it will be easier for you to defend against those risks.

Show your stuff

4. Quiz: Business cloud storage and file sharing

Now that you've brushed up on the cloud and file sharing, take this quiz and see how much you really know.

How much do you know about choosing cloud services?

Get it straight

5. Glossary

Check out these definitions and learn more about cloud-based file sharing and cloud service providers.