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IT managers need to evaluate Drive alternatives

Organisations need to consider business-oriented cloud drive and collaboration services at alternatives to Google and Microsoft

Google Drive is likely to prove popular, says Ovum, which could cause problems with users sharing corporate documents.
Google Drive is likely to prove popular, says Ovum, which could cause problems with users sharing corporate documents.

IT managers should be wary of Google's new Drive cloud storage service, and evaluate business-grade alternatives, according to analyst company Ovum.

Ovum is warning of the likelihood that consumer users will use services like the newly launched Google Drive or Microsoft's SkyDrive to store work-related documents, with the potential to breach data security and compromise compliance and governance.

Richard Edwards, principal analyst at Ovum commented: "Many organizations already block access to popular file sharing Web sites such as Dropbox, but Ovum believes there is an inevitability about the use of these services that warrants further investigation.

"Ovum advocates the evaluation of business-grade cloud drive and collaboration solutions, such as Box and Huddle. These services deliver user friendly, device agnostic, content sharing features similar to Google Drive, Dropbox, and Microsoft SkyDrive, but they also feature management and administration capabilities that Ovum deems essential from a compliance and audit perspective, he said.

Google Drive allows users to store and share all types of content, and to collaborate with other users on content. The service is integrated with Google Docs and includes powerful search functions, including optical character recognition. The service is available for free for data capacity up to 5GB, and on a paid-for basis up to 1TB.

Edwards said that the ability to share large files is likely to be a key draw for Google Drive users.

"All your stuff - work or play - is in one place" This is the commentary that accompanies Google's YouTube video introducing its "all-new" file sharing service - Google Drive. On the face of it, this topic does not appear to concern the corporate IT manager or CIO, but chances are employees will start using this service to do more than share family photos and recipes.

"Corporate emails systems are notorious for their measly storage quotas and message attachment size limitations, and so the sharing and distribution of large corporate files, such as PowerPoint presentations, engineering drawings, and creative content, are an obvious use case for Google Drive," he said.