Guest post by Frederick Drennan, Product Manager at Datto.
Today, the workforce is increasingly expected to respond to work-related requests in near-real time, from anywhere. The increasing use of messaging platforms such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, and even WhatsApp by business users drives productivity and raises the bar for when and where work can be done. There are tangible benefits for companies leveraging these emerging technologies, gaining productivity from busy workers for seemingly little cost. However, there may be hidden costs – such as security risks, making it imperative that decision-makers take security into account when evaluating collaborative tools.
Businesses are increasingly turning to file sync and share (FSS) to boost productivity. The market for FSS is vast, with hundreds of offerings available at the click of a mouse, enabling near effortless cloud-enablement of company file structures, so that only an internet connection is needed to share files with colleagues and increasingly, third parties with ease. These solutions have a wide variety of features and target different markets.
Below, we outline some core aspects of Datto Workplace, and how it provides a powerful set of features to accelerate collaboration, whilst retaining management controls to ensure security.
Get work done anywhere, at any time, on any device.
Being able to work anywhere has obvious advantages, and for this to take place, a solution needs to function across all devices, and integrate with core business applications. Datto Workplace works on Windows and Mac platforms, with a dedicated application to cloud-enable file servers, eliminating the need for legacy technology such as VPNs. It also works natively on Android and iOS devices, enabling users to review and edit documents securely wherever they are, including offline files they have synced.
Integrations with key business applications are also increasingly important. With Datto Workplace, Microsoft Outlook users can leverage a powerful plugin to send secure links for files/folders to recipients. These capabilities come with rigorous controls; links can be quickly configured with passwords, expiration by access count and time, and turned off at a moment’s notice to prevent access. This ensures users can readily share data when they need to, without sacrificing control over confidential and often sensitive business data.
Powerful integrations with Microsoft Office 365 and G Suite also enable users to collaborate in real time from an internet browser. Along with improving collaboration, this improves business continuity. In the event of a disaster where a device is lost, stolen, or damaged, a user simply needs to login securely to Datto Workplace on any web browser, and they can seamlessly continue working on MS Office of G-Suite documents, safe in the knowledge that changes are saved back to the secure Workplace private cloud.
Users can also easily sync the documents they need locally – whether that’s a mobile, laptop, or desktop – enabling them to work offline or on unreliable network connections, with new versions of documents automatically synced to the device once a connection is available. This enables workers to work effectively even without an internet connection – for example on a plane / train – and the moment they regain access the changes are uploaded to the cloud. Alongside file locking, Datto Workplace flags any version conflict, enabling users to quickly rectify conflicting versions and preventing folders from becoming cluttered with multiple iterations of the same document.
Centrally manage collaboration to improve security.
Alongside powerful collaboration, Datto Workplace allows administrators to leverage a broad array of configuration policies to improve security. As an example, these policies can be set to ensure salespeople can easily collaborate and share data with third parties, a core part of any sales position. On the other hand, these policies can also be used to ‘harden’ the solution for more sensitive roles. For example, an HR administrator using Workplace might find their access ring-fenced to within the office/corporate network, with two-factor authentication required with no ability to share data outside the organisation.
Integrations with Active Directory (AD) assist with onboarding and off-boarding to improve user experience and security. New users in an AD environment will notify an admin to add them as Workplace users. For individuals leaving an organisation, once taken off AD this will sync to Workplace, removing their access to folders, with the option to automatically remote wipe the Workplace applications on desktop and mobile devices, particularly useful in ‘BYOD’ work environments as it only wipes the Workplace app, and not the entire device.
Activity in Datto Workplace is comprehensively audited and reportable. Managers can filter, save, and automate the scheduling of activity reports to maintain visibility and ensure company and industry regulations are followed.
In summary Datto Workplace does well at attaining the balancing act between collaboration and security, ensuring that businesses can enable their users to get work done anywhere, on any device, without the security risks commonly associated with such solutions.