Symantec SMB File Sharing Flash Poll


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  • Applied Research fielded this survey in November of 2012. The results in this presentation represent 1,325 SMBs from 30 countries.Respondents came from companies with a range of 5 to 500 employees. In all cases, the person interviewed was in charge of managing the company’s computing resources.The results in this presentation have a reliability of 95% confidence with +/- 2.7% margin of error.*”North of Latin America” (NOLA) is comprised of Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Peru, and Guatemala.** “South of Latin America” (SOLA) is comprised of Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Bolivia.
  • Employees proved to be influential across the board when it comes to adopting social media, file sharing solutions, mobile device usage and PC/Laptop/Tablet usage (Question 6) Security and productivity were viewed as the most important factors when considering what to provide employees with regard to the applications and devices they use for business purposes (Question 7)
  • When we asked respondents about how important various features were to employees when it comes to accessing and sharing files, three-fourths (74 percent) reported the ability to access files across desktops, laptops and mobile devices, including personal devices to be most important. (Question 8)The ability to share large files and the ability to upload and update files in shared workspaces were both viewed as somewhat/extremely important to 71 percent of respondents. File collaboration was reported as somewhat/extremely important to 68 percent of respondents.
  • When asked to rate the following IT security risks with regards to file sharing solutions, respondents indicated employees sharing confidential information using unapproved solutions (44%), malware (44%), loss of confidential or proprietary information (43%), breach of confidential information (41%), embarrassment or damage to brand/reputation (37%), violating regulatory rules (34%) (Question 12)
  • We asked respondents how familiar they are with how employees share files internally and externally. 25% are extremely familiar, 40% are somewhat familiar, 25% neutral, 7% are somewhat familiar, 3% completely unfamiliar. (Question 10)We asked respondents if they have implemented internal policies restricting how employees can access and share files internally or externally. 57% said yes, 25% said no, 18% are in the process of implementing. (Question 13)
  • We asked respondents what employees would do if they needed to send a large file to a customer, contractor or partner (too large for email). (Question 14)We asked respondents about the potential consequences to an organization if a customer or partner needed a large file quickly and an employee was not able to meet the deadline due to limitations on the organization’s file solution. (Question 15)
  • We asked respondents to indicate what percentage of their organization works remotely (i.e. not in one of their physical offices) and what percentage works from home (at least once per week) three years ago, one year ago, today and one year from now (projected). (Question 1)The numbers of respondents indicating they have employees working remotely/from home has gradually increased and is projected to continue to increase. Respondents predicted that one year from now 37% of respondents will have employees working remotely and 32% will have employees that work from home. (Question 2)
  • We asked respondents to report their top two most commonly used solutions for sharing and collaborating around files are: three years ago, today and one year from now. (Question 3)Email is still the most prevalent solutions with 64% reporting it as a most commonly used solution today; followed by a shared file server at 39% today. 52% percent of respondents indicated that email will be the most commonly used solution one year from now, with a shared file server following at 37%. 27% of respondents are now using third-party cloud-based file-software applications, while 30% report they will use third-party cloud-based file software applications one year from now.
  • We asked respondents to estimate the average size of a file shared by your organization, today, three years ago, and five years ago. (Question 5)The sizes of files being shared internally has grown from three/five years ago. One in seven (14 percent) respondents reported the average size of file shared by their organization to be more than 1 GB today, while only 6 percent of files were reported as being more than 1 GB three years ago and five years ago.
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