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Using Dropbox as your corporate file server

Keeping files stored in such a cloud solution could increase productivity, security and employee collaboration

Left: Connecting to Dropbox on the go using a handphone. Right: Screenshot of a prompt menu of an iPhone - with Dropbox app installed - connected to a computer.

IN TODAY'S corporate world, standalone IT solutions won't be able to cover all business needs. Efficiency and flexibility are no longer just buzzwords - they affect how a company performs in more ways than before.

Security demands also feature heavily in the corporate landscape. A multitude of ransomware attacks in recent months has shaken the very foundations some companies are built on, and future attacks will most certainly be on the way. Mitigating these attacks should be high priority for any discerning CEO who wants to protect his or her business.

However, several companies still prefer a tried-and-trusted way of keeping their file servers on-premise and administered locally, which opens a whole host of attack avenues to would-be cyber criminals. Keeping files stored in a cloud solution like Dropbox Business could increase productivity, security and employee collaboration.

Reducing operational IT costs is key. Using Dropbox Business's file servers can help mitigate the uncertainty of running a local server and its accompanying costs, and its simplified pricing eases the burden of projecting future costs.

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Once files are in Dropbox Business servers, employees can take advantage of collaboration tools, which help increase productivity. Remote working, file access, ease of sharing files and folders become more effective when files are stored on cloud storage.

According to Dropbox, research agency IDC has found that Dropbox Business could provide up to US$91,000 in productivity benefits for every 100 employees, and improve productivity in sales teams by 6 per cent on average.

Offloading a company's files and documents to Dropbox Business will also mean all data falls under Dropbox's strict data protection systems, which include disaster recovery and increased security. According to Dropbox, putting documents and files on a local server increases risk four-fold than if it had been stored with a cloud storage provider.

Once on Dropbox Business servers, an employee could access his or her files anywhere in the world, even through a smartphone or tablet. The company treats all major operating systems equally, putting out apps on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS, among others. The availability of its app on all major platforms will allow employees to work together on file sharing and collaboration.

Moving to a cloud storage solution doesn't mean neglecting other legacy applications that a company might have. For that, Dropbox Business is able to integrate with 20,000 different applications. Microsoft Office, Adobe Document Cloud, Salesforce and Slack are just some of the popular applications that Dropbox can interface with, while still giving the IT department complete control over deployment.

Another aspect of Dropbox Business is Team Folders, which act like shared folders. Administrators of the Dropbox Business account can configure security permissions and choose which groups should have what access to folders and sub drives. Using Team Folders is seamless and robust, providing assigned users a simple but effective way to share files.

How do you send everything your company currently has on its servers? Dropbox Business has a tool called the Dropbox Data Migration Assistant (DMA), which takes files from servers and transfers them across to the company's cloud servers at high speed. The company recommends their technology partners like SkySync and Tervela if a client's needs are more diverse.