Vendors are lining up to get into the cloud file-sharing ‘box’

We recently published a spotlight report on cloud file sharing and sync, file backup and file-oriented collaboration in the cloud – and all the overlaps and intersections between these areas.  The full report is available here for 451 Research subscribers (link requires log-in).

The idea was to shed some light on this sector that often seems to be described by its two best known players – Dropbox and Box.  Despite the similar names, the services offered by these two providers have significant differences.  And each is after a different, though in some cases overlapping, target market.

Dropbox in particular seems to be gaining a lot of attention from enterprise IT departments — and it’s not all good.  As compliance, security, risk and IT folks in general try to get their arms around the fact that corporate data is moving to Dropbox (and other services), a number of providers have started to look at providing alternatives.  All of this largely driven of course by the widespread use of iPads and other mobile devices by business users and their need to access files from these devices and keep them in sync across mobile and desktop systems.  Box exploits this requirement as well, but offers more file-oriented collaboration capabilities, though not full-blown content management in the traditional sense.

Cloud file sharing, sync and mobile support for file collaboration will all be hot topics in 2012.  We feel we might quickly be inundated by the number of providers that want to offer some kind of alternative to Dropbox to appease IT departments and/or better mobile access to existing enterprise content systems, like SharePoint.  Below is our first-stab attempt to start to map some of this to the sub-sectors within this broader and rapidly shifting landscape.  And we know it’s not comprehensive, the players here are changing almost daily.

Cloud file backup, sharing, sync and collaboration providers

Source: 451 Research