Gartner Report rates cloud-based Sync and Share Solutions | Automation.com

Gartner Report rates cloud-based Sync and Share Solutions

July 10, 2014 - When companies want to share data across the enterprise, they often use cloud-based file synchronization and sharing solutions. These solutions allow users to continuously post and update information to a private, public or hybrid cloud. Local and remote secure, high-speed, two-way access to this information is then provided via a host of different platforms including PCs, thin clients, smartphones and tablets.

Industrial automation applications for file sync and share are numerous and include remote access to production information, document management, alarm notification and acknowledgement, and many others.

In all cases, this access must be highly secure, a goal many see as incompatible with the use of the public cloud. The more secure alternative is to use a private or a hybrid cloud, each of which provides a much higher degree of user control and cyber security than the public cloud. Some file sync and share solutions rely solely on the public cloud, so users with more stringent security needs should instead choose a solution which allows deployment through a private or hybrid cloud.

One of the first challenges when implementing a file sync and share solution is the selection of the best supplier as there’s a wide array of choices, each with varying levels of features and functionality in terms of cyber security and other areas. To aid in this quest, the relative strengths and weaknesses of 19 suppliers are neatly summarized in a recent research report from Gartner.

Gartner ranks the suppliers for enterprise file synchronization and sharing using their magic quadrant graph. As depicted in the graph, the horizontal axis of the quadrant ranks suppliers based on completeness of vision, and the vertical axis ranks suppliers based on ability to execute. The graph has four quadrants: upper right are Leaders, upper left are Challengers, lower right are Visionaries, and lower left are Niche Players.

The results show relative rankings for each supplier, with EMC (their Syncplicity product), Citrix, Box and Accellion the only four companies making it to the promised land of the upper right Leaders quadrant, indicating strength in both completeness of vision and ability to execute. Depending on exactly how the graph is interpreted, either EMC Syncplicity or Citrix comes out on top, with Citrix ranked highest in ability to execute, and EMC Syncplicity garnering the best score for completeness of vision.

Of interest is the relatively low ranking of well-know entities such as IBM, Google and Microsoft—all relegated to the Challenger quadrant—which may indicate the importance of specialization for file sync and sharing solutions. One interpretation is companies offering a very wide range of IT-related products and services may not be best positioned to offer a pre-packaged solution addressing all of a customer’s needs in this very specific solution space.

By contrast, companies in the upper right Leaders quadrant may be seen to offer solutions ready to go out of the box, with only minimal configuration required by users based on their specific needs. With many companies running with reduced IT staffs, solutions offering a superior completeness of vision, like EMC’s Syncplicity, can be the best choice.

What should companies look for in a file sync and share platform? Jeetu Patel, the general manager of EMC Syncplicity, part of the Information Intelligence Group at EMC, provides a concise summary. “For users, the application must be fully functional, easy to navigate and visually pleasing. For IT, the application must deliver a completely secure and controllable cloud environment that will readily connect to an existing infrastructure.”

The Gartner document is available upon request from EMC Syncplicity (www.syncplicity.com).

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