The Single Biggest Problem in Enterprise IT


2014 may well be the year of cloud storage. 

With massive capital raises from players like Egnyte, mainstream adoption from Fortune 500 enterprises such as Chevron and Safeway, and the imminent Box and Dropbox IPOs looming on the horizon, cloud storage has grown to become one of the most hyped technology markets with both the press and industry.

Some of this attention and praise is well-deserved. Cloud storage solutions solve many of the prevailing ills associated with legacy file servers and other document management systems by providing ease-of-use, mobile access, and more seamless collaboration.   

Yet they are not a panacea.

While cloud storage solutions offer an infrastructure layer for the organization, they have not been designed to resolve the numerous workflow challenges and user issues. In fact, they fail to address one of the single biggest problems and sources of frustration in enterprise IT.

The Million Dollar Question

In speaking to numerous CIOs and IT admins, we repeatedly hear the same answer when quizzed about the biggest pain points in their organization - they can't find the files they need when they need them.

"My users are always complaining about their inability to quickly find the document or slide they need," explained a senior executive with a Fortune 500 company we recently launched with. "The number one question in enterprise IT is 'Where did I save that file?'”

Most of these companies have long deployed cloud storage solutions, yet continue to face the same frustrations around finding and using content as they had with their legacy systems.

Content Storage Is Not Equivalent To Knowledge Management

So why have cloud storage solutions fallen short? There are three key reasons:

  • The file and folder hierarchies around which cloud storage solutions are based inevitably lead to folder and content sprawl, not unlike the file server and legacy solutions they replaced. Sometimes, the problem is even worse, given the large volume of content able to be stored.
  • Content in an organization - even for those extremely committed to cloud storage - resides across multiple repositories such as local file servers, SharePoint, and individual desktops.
  • Cloud storage solutions focus on providing an infrastructure layer for information without offering advanced knowledge and workflow capabilities. In essence, they offer the capability to create more and store more content without offering the tools to deal with this content.

Advice for Cloud Storage Buyers and CIOs

These days, moving your storage to the cloud may be inevitable, but there are some things to keep in mind:

  • Fully understand the use cases and benefits you are looking to achieve with a cloud storage solution and be realistic about their limitations.
  • The sweet spot for these products is around enabling better access and file sharing.
  • If you are an IT decision-maker looking for additional capabilities from a cloud storage offering, aim to implement a solution that integrates cloud storage and non-cloud storage repositories.

Alex Gorbansky is the CEO and founder of Docurated. Docurated builds the fastest and simplest way to find and use content. With Docurated’s smart approach to document management, customers drive more economic value out of existing storage investments. Prior to Docurated, Alex co-founded Frontier Strategy Group, a leading emerging markets research and data business. Earlier in his career, Alex was a storage industry analyst at Taneja Group and held product management roles at EMC and Loudcloud. Follow Alex on Twitter @docurated.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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