Recently, a few Church IT people in the Atlanta area had a local roundtable. One of the discussion topics was Dropbox alternatives. What we quickly discovered was that people had lots of different reasons for considering alternatives!
Why do people like Dropbox? Quite simply, it works and it’s easy to use. If you haven’t read this article from a few years back, written by a competitor, it’s worth your time. Some 20/20 Hindsight: Excellent lessons from Syncplicity vs. DropBox!
So, given that it’s easy and it works, what are the issues that make people want to change? This is not the exact list from the CITRT conversation, it’s just a list for discussion.
- Higher security than Dropbox. This one comes up a lot. People have a concern about Dropbox security
- Integration with file server files and directories
- Primary on-site storage, with replication to cloud [vs. the other way around]
- True collaboration: multiple people working on same data item simultaneously
- Remote disconnect of sharing (i.e., lost BYOD device)
- Confusion when private accounts and corporate accounts are brought together
- Better management of backups and archiving; protection from accidental deletion
There are probably just as many things that people want to keep from Dropbox, including:
- “hands off” connect, disconnect, reconnect, whenever connectivity is available
- Ease of sharing folders and files. Easy to add sharing, easy to remove
- Low resources on the client
- Access from any device, any type of device [subject to security credentials]
- A cheap backup solution — replicate your files across multiple devices easily, plus the cloud storage
- Low cost (or free) for the needs of many users
What are YOUR reasons for wanting to change? What have you found that meets your needs?
Alternate question: how much of this need is a problem of users, or data usage, rather than of technology? If good security practices were followed, would most of the problems go away?