Consolidation, Consolidation, Consolidation

With the explosion of digital communication and a rapid rise in the development of large multimedia files that businesses need to exchange and collaborate on, it was only natural there would be a massive surge in new ways to share.

However, along with the different ways it’s possible to share files comes the problem of having too much choice. End users, organizations, clients are each selecting their own preferred platform, creating a lack of consistency on the desktop and opening data to the threat of being compromised. This is no small challenge for firms dealing with large numbers of files and a world of clients.

When firms need to control multiple versions of a single file, the issue of sharing becomes even more difficult. Versions are sent or uploaded via different media, files get overwritten, confidential information starts leaking and the entire process becomes confusing, inefficient and potentially unsafe. With high-profile data breaches costing companies millions of dollars, this a risk firms can ill afford.

Location? Location? Location?

The bricks and mortar of business services organizations is exchanging multiple versions of a file; drafting and re-drafting documents; reviewing them with clients or third parties until the perfect final version is built.

The issue with file sharing is how to keep all these versions organized and in one place; how to exchange them securely; how to remove sensitive data; and how to compare changes to achieve the correct end result. If employees, businesses and clients all choose different locations or solutions to sync and share files, you have to work much harder to get to the final draft. Businesses need to focus on consolidating the number of locations in which files are stored and shared, by doing this file sharing can be smooth and secure.

At the point of exchange

Imagine...a team of people is working on perfecting a single version of a Word™ document and each selects their own way to share the file to garner amendments. One sends it via email, another hosts it in the cloud and a third puts it on a shared drive. Although the overarching result is the same (the document has been shared), understanding where the master file is now stored; who has access to it; what needs to be done next; and who has added their changes becomes nearly impossible to tell.

Even in cases where a team of users has multi-authoring features in Office™ or even Google Docs™, there is still a point that an "official" version has to made and circulated for review. At this point the process starts all over again, with versions placed in multiple locations and systems, and things get out of sync.

Technology, in this instance, is bringing stress to the exchange and it certainly isn’t bringing productivity gains.

It’s important for technology to act as an enabler to resolve issues, it shouldn’t create new ones. Secure file sharing should maximize productivity and minimize risk – not create a new headache for users and IT teams.

Doors are secure

Even though many would claim to understand the importance of data security during data exchange, figures demonstrate that businesses aren’t always exercising caution. When [i] conducted their survey, in response to an open ended question “4% of law firms reported they [took] no measures at all to protect privileged communications via email”, let alone any other platform.

IT leaders having to wrestle with the different solutions that have become the “application of choice” for their employees or clients are also faced with an uncontrolled mess of pathways by which data leaves their business. When any file is exchanged there’s a risk that sensitive client or corporate data will be lost, which isn’t going to be acceptable to any IT leader worth their salt. So, the question is how best to manage these issues?

Moving to completion

A single solution that enables users to exchange and work on files with multiple parties, while maintaining control of the master version will resolve the first issue and deliver productivity. If this single platform also enables document protection, with sensitive data removed from files before they are shared, it enables IT to shore-up the enterprise infrastructure and protect data.

Don’t fret, Workshare delivers secure file exchange with comparison technology. This means it’s always clear which is the latest version of a file and sensitive data is always secure. The solution is specifically designed for business services firms, so users have the ability to compare drafts, comment into files and track the latest update, while metadata engines scan for sensitive content and remove it before sharing.

The solution is complete.