Consumerization is revolutionizing “file sync and share” services for the highly regulated asset management industry.
The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement has gained significant popularity in the corporate world and is rapidly changing how enterprises share information. Consumerization of devices in asset management – the migration of features, feel and functionality of mainstream consumer products to specialist financial services firms – is changing this industry as well. CIOs and CTOs are realizing the need to bulletproof their consumer-grade services with industrial-strength file sync and share services in order to provide secure, easy access to data and documents, anywhere, from any device.
While the BYOD model encourages innovative thinking, reduces costs and drives employee satisfaction, it also increases IT/risk considerations. According to a June 2013 study by Ponemon Institute, the greatest potential risks to regulated data within organizations are mobile devices. Employees are now storing ever-larger amounts of data on unregulated consumer devices as tablets and mobile devices increasingly replace computers.
In a Gravitas poll conducted during this past summer, 58% of CTOs and COOs said they consider information leakage, storage, regulatory compliance and control of information flow to be major concerns. The same poll revealed that 80% of the companies surveyed allow employees to use their own devices for work. This leads to major online storage security considerations which include network availability, device security, data durability, privacy and confidentiality, control and compliance.
A range of products have emerged in an attempt to address this need. However, the proliferation of file sync and share services has complicated the selection process. Among the key questions firms need to ask file synch and share service providers are:
- How will the file sync and share platform integrate with my organization’s current directory?
- What is your data encryption philosophy and how specifically is the data encrypted?
- How do you manage the encryption keys?
- Can files be stored on-premise, in the cloud or both?
- How much control of the data do I have?
- What is your policy on new passwords and leveraging existing passwords?
- What are the savings in costs over time?
- Will file and data protection scale as workloads continue to evolve?
The next step is to consider your organization’s work style. Employees will only take advantage of the full functionality of a file sync and share service if it matches their current work environment. It is also important to implement a pilot and testing stage, so that changes can be made depending on feedback. In a world where mobile technology is ubiquitous, identifying a file sync and share service that is robust, secure and scalable is essential.
Patrick is Executive Director of Systems Integration at Gravitas, a leading co-sourcing™ platform providing cloud technology and collaborative outsourcing for investment support and middle office services to the alternative investment industry. Gravitas recently launched Gravitas Atmosphere™, a secure private cloud-based online file sharing and storage service for file and sync collaboration in partnership with EMC Syncplicity and EMC Atmos.