Dropbox is unquestionably one of Lifehacker's favourite file syncing solutions, and 'Dropbox-like' is often used as a shorthand description for any kind of solution for ensuring easy file access and backup across multiple devices. However, despite Dropbox's own push into business markets, IT departments aren't always happy with how Dropbox meshes into company security policies. That's a gap that EMC-owned Syncplicity is hoping to fill.
Dropbox is a classic example of a product that sneaks into enterprise environments. "IT cares about security, but users care about productivity, so they often end up installing Dropbox themselves," Syncplicity global MD Jeetu Patel told Lifehacker. "Before you know it, sensitive corporate data is being put in a place which IT is completely uncomfortable about.
"The typical response is often that Dropbox is blocked on the corporate firewall. People become perturbed and buy their own Wi-Fi device to work around it. This kind of behaviour keeps perpetuating and it's unhealthy. Organisations are put in this uncomfortable position of choosing between fulfilling the needs of the user to be productive and the needs of IT to be secure. You should be able to be secure while being productive."
Syncplicity operates on a software-as-a-service model, charging a per-user subscription fee that covers an unlimited number of devices. The client experience isn't markedly different from any other file syncing service, and includes the expected device support (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Windows Phone 8, and HTML5 for other mobile platforms). The key difference is the ability to set policies across areas such as not allowing content to leave a given domain. The enterprise edition also allows syncing to your own data centre rather than the cloud.
Does your workplace set restrictions on the use of Dropbox or similar services? Tell us in the comments.