Many IT decision makers are focused on the use of consumer-focused file sync and share (FSS) tools that was popularized by Dropbox, but now a growing variety of other, similar tools. While many consider consumer-focused FSS to be a serious problem in the workplace, most of them work as advertised – they provide users with many gigabytes of free cloud storage and allow synchronization of any file across users’ desktop, laptop and mobile platforms automatically.

And that’s the problem: these tools permit any file to be synchronized across any device by any user without IT’s involvement or management. This means that sensitive or confidential employee records, customer financial information, embargoed press releases, and other data can be synchronized to any user’s device without IT’s ability to prevent critical information from being modified, without first being encrypted, without an audit trail established of how the information was sent or received, without any control over who can have access to the data, and without IT’s control over where and by whom that data is stored. This creates legal, regulatory, privacy and other risks for any organization in which these tools are used.


This survey report presents the results of two primary market research surveys conducted with members of the Osterman Research survey panel during July 2015 and March/April 2016.