Here is a quick true story of a recent conversation with an CIO Leader of a multi thousand person company who successfully moved his CEO off Dropbox. He is a friend of mine, however before I get into the specifics, I wanted to let you know I have also included 18 CIO benefits (his ancillary wins that were created with) moving his CEO off Dropbox.
Ok, how did the CIO get the CEO to this point? This is a 4000 employee company, as a matter of reference; and I mention this just to highlight the importance of business file synch technology has not waned since the hype started 3 years ago. The virtual CIO events that I originally hosted on this topic 3 years ago garner quite a bit of attention so one would think that everyone has this figured out by now. Rarely do I find CIOs have figured this problem out. Usually, in our conversation, they get very excited because they might have recently inked a deal with a vendor who they are hoping will deliver everything they need. Rarely do I hear about important conversations with the CEO: regarding securing digital assets, governance, legal, risk, HR, Employee expectations, training, etc.
Begin story ………The CEO called the CIO and said, “heh the product I am demoing to replace Dropbox won’t work. There is some license problem.” The CIO responded, “That is because it is a demo license. I have not purchased it yet.” The CEO said, “Let’s get this turned on. I want it.”
CEO Reasons for agreeing to migrate off Dropbox and onto the CIO recommended product:
1) When an employee leaves the company the CEO didn’t want company files in a personal cloud system. Yes, The CIO had survived the Dropbox and Box.net marketing hype and had gotten to the actual technical truth regarding how the technology actually worked regarding security, workflow, and continuity. He was not happy with it. I might add his company although @4000 employees is not IT Security audited. I make this point since I am trying to anticipate some the more regulated companies that may read this.
2) The CEO didn’t want to impact project revenue streams with trying to recover important docs needed for the business to continue if an employee left. He felt there could be a definite drop in profits posed by this risk. There were very real project management continuity issues he felt would impact important projects world wide if business files were shoved in Dropbox systems. Again, when he pealed back the marketing engine information he did not like the alternatives that were presented to him.
3) Preserve and protect IP intellectual property. This echoes #1 and #2.
4) BYOD – The CEO wanted IT to offer him a cutting edge solution so that he could use ALL his mobile devices AND still get access to data he needed. Originally, instead of waiting for IT he just went out and got a solution himself which was Dropbox. Even though he did this he wanted IT to offer him something better. How do I know? He told me. Now he has one equivalent to Dropbox with commercial grade security, high availability, and governance.
5) The CEO wanted the ability to send links to contract files and other important files that he could “time out”. Since the CEO was travelling so often he wanted the ability to send important files to attorneys, customers, vendors, and partners with the ability to secure lock and time out the files.
What are the CIO wins from this?
Some of these are areas that the CEO would of course care about, but in this case were not necessarily on his radar. This CEO had 5 reasons listed above, but the CIO had his reasons as well. The CIO reasons are as follows. There were 18 major/minor wins for him.
One solution to manage and support for:
1) True BYOD – all devices and any data
2) Secure Access to data – I love centralized data governance!
3) DR – major simple win for file system recovery for 30 offices
4) HA – resilience file access for 30 plus remote offices
5) Enable collaborative workspaces as a workflow solution. The CIO is partnered with the CFO and Sales and knows that collaboration, doc management and workflow are big company strategy drivers. He knows his investment in this technology will be a huge enabler. Possible increases in sales and profits are a big plus coupled with all of the above wins…..all with one system.
6) An investment in an application delivery platform like VDI was not needed. Pheww!
7) Reduce storage costs in the cloud
8) Solve work at home access to data problems
9) Solve work at conference/road access to data problems
Smaller CIO Wins:
1) Enable native authentication without a Cloud IDM system in the middle
2) Native Secure access without breaking file structures, native authentication, or security controls
3) Total secure and complete access to company file systems by Webify’ing company file structures
6) DR for 30 offices was accomplished with HA – High Availability – With over 30 offices world wide and a distributed file system model it was important to have each office operate independently if they ended up being ‘off line’ for any reason.
7) Solve auditor and regulator concerns – for companies that are private this is less of a concern, but for most companies this could be in the top 3.
8) Enable read only access to files.
9) Save email storage and message sizing across all platforms