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FileCloud 2018 Predictions: Top 10 Predictions in Content Collaboration for 2018

VMblog Predictions 2018

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2018.  Read them in this 10th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Madhan Kanagavel, founder and CEO of FileCloud

Top 10 Predictions in Content Collaboration for 2018

Collaboration within the workplace is not a new concept. However, it has become increasingly crucial in this mobile world as we become more connected across the globe. The proliferation of cloud computing has given rise to a new set of content collaboration tools such as Dropbox,  FileCloud, Box. These tools enable employees to effectively collaborate, subsequently leading to a more skilled, engaged and educated workforce. Content collaboration solutions allow employees within the organization to easily share information with each other, and effectively work together on projects irrespective of geographic location via a combination of networking capabilities, software solutions and well-established collaborative processes. Content collaboration platforms are the evolution of Enterprise File Sharing and Sync (EFSS).

Content collaboration tools are increasingly playing a critical role across almost all organizations. Organizations use content collaboration tools to foster innovation and reduce time-to-market by effectively collecting, managing and sharing the organization's knowledge base. Many CIOs equate collaboration tools to employee satisfaction and retention. A collaborative workplace inherently develops a sense of community within the company, wherein employees feel validated and part of a team.  A good collaboration tool encourages better sharing experience and knowledge among employees.

Here are the top 10 trends in content collaboration for 2018.

The Need for Stricter Privacy and Control Grows

In today's post-Snowden world, content has become the new perimeter.  The demand of greater privacy and control is steadily increasing as enterprise users have growing concerns about data privacy. Customers are seeking better privacy protection and control by demanding their data be stored in the country or region they reside in.  However, data residency alone will not help. One of the best ways to prevent devastating data leaks is to have better controls embedded in the content and the tools.  Content collaboration platforms will be expected to provide powerful yet simple-to-use tools that protect employee and customer privacy, confidential information and intellectual property.

Most SaaS Providers Will Not Be Ready for GDPR 

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) represents a major change to European Union (EU) privacy law, which will go into effect on May 2018 across the EU. GDPR is redefining how data is shared across country borders. GDPR compliance will be very tasking for most enterprises, because it involves austere procedures related to the collection of personal data, processing and storage, breach and cyber-security notifications, cross-border data transfers, and appointment of data protection officers- to name but a few. Given the extent of the impact of GDPR, many collaboration SaaS will not be ready to handle the GDPR requirements.

Governments Will Seek Decentralization

Governments and government organizations, especially outside the US, are increasingly concerned about geopolitical events and their impact on data ownership. Encryption provides a strong protection against data integrity, but doesn't solve issues around data sovereignty. For example, the US government can potentially block access or request data that is stored in a US-based SaaS. The need for data integrity, sovereignty and security is driving government organizations to seek decentralized collaboration solutions such as FileCloud to store and collaborate. Such decentralized solutions will give absolute control on where the data is stored and who handles the data.

The Adoption of the Private/Hybrid Cloud Will Accelerate

Driven by the strict regulations on privacy, growing security hacks, concerns on vendor lock-in and uncertainty around data ownership; organizations want truly infrastructure-agnostic and vendor-neutral applications.  Organizations want the flexibility and scalability of public clouds, but want to keep their data and applications on a private or hybrid cloud.  The public cloud takes away the control from CIOs and yet, public cloud services haven't matured enough to offer the peace of mind necessary. Based on 1000s of customer interactions, we find that the CIOs and IT administrators still want visibility and control of their data and application, as their jobs are on the line to make sure that the data is protected and services are up. Hybrid and private cloud solutions will give back the control while offering the scalability of public cloud infrastructure. This demand is validated by Microsoft, which recently launched an Azure Stack that runs their cloud software on-premise on customers' data centers. 

Cross Repository Governance and Protection Products Emerge

Moving all enterprise files into one storage repository is not practical, and as an organization grows, the number of repositories (Box, FileCloud, Dropbox) are expected to grow. Enterprises are trying to limit this to 2-3 repositories in order to better manage backup, search, protection and governance. Even with a handful of repositories, internal IT teams find it hard to manage and secure content across content repositories, hence they are seeking tools that help them manage.

Potentially, a Major Hack Occurs

Not only are security attacks predicted to increase, but the sophistication of the malware involved will also increase. Given the quantity of data and the size of their customer base; public SaaS platforms become more attractive targets, as they attract not only the attackers who seek valuable information, but also hackers that like the challenge of hacking a well-known service. In a world where many renounced services such as Equifax have been hacked, it is highly likely that one of the public storage services will be hacked given so many possible points of failure, especially when human components are involved.

Ransomware Protection Becomes a Must

Ransomware as a cyber-attack tactic has steadily been increasing over the past year and is expected to continue with increases in data integrity attacks, targeting of cloud infrastructure and the use of artificial intelligence by attackers. Ransomware and other morphed forms of planted malware have impacted organizations of all shapes and sizes. Protection against ransomware will become one of the top criteria in picking any content collaboration system. The tool will be expected to offer safe, real-time collaboration to workers, clients and partners along with security against ransomware.

Content Machine Learning Will be Used to Prevent Data Loss

As we go into 2018- deep learning, artificial intelligence and machine learning will be the cornerstones of understanding data and improving data security. Machine learning can be used to minimize the exposure of the sensitive data by analyzing the content when collected, copied or shared. For example, collaboration platforms can apply machine learning to identify high risk files by analyzing text streams for Personal Identifiable Information (PII) such as phone numbers, names, credit card numbers, and more.  Automatic classification is the first step in applying machine learning to organize content. It lays the ground work for the automatic selection of access controls based on the sensitivity of the content.

AI Drives Insights

The growing use of machine learning and Artificial Intelligence is steadily transforming the business landscape. Enterprises collect vast information about their clients and partners. Despite the fact that this information is valuable on its own, it can be used to generate more valuable insights. For example, the behavioral data that reflects real actions of your clients is more valuable than information that would have been traditionally obtained via consumer panels. Collaboration tools will offer insights on enterprise, and will give some insights on their collaborative process starting in 2018.

Dropbox Will Go IPO

One of the biggest events in the content collaboration space in 2018 will likely be Dropbox's impending IPO.  The overall market opportunity for collaboration and productivity tools is slated to hit $30 billion. Dropbox is seeking to position itself as a leader in the content collaboration and productivity market. However, the company will have to pull off arduous transformations in one fell swoop. Dropbox is still in the process of adapting to a corporate IT infrastructure company after establishing itself as a maker of a free consumer app.


About the Author

Madham FileCloud 

Madhan drives CodeLathe's overall strategy and execution. Over the last 15 years, prior to founding CodeLathe, Madhan has worked on diverse systems and technology, including building highly scalable MMORPG game server technology, high speed real-time video acquisition systems, digital video engagement solutions, and Artificial Intelligence (A.I.). As an open source enthusiast, he developed the open source Money Manager Ex personal finance software.

Madhan holds a Master of Science degree in Engineering from Boston University.

Published Wednesday, October 18, 2017 7:31 AM by David Marshall
Top 10 Predictions in Content Collaboration for 2018 - (Author's Link) - October 18, 2017 11:17 AM
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