We’ve always run a pretty lean company here at McKenna Consultants. We try to stay flexible and light on our feet too! Our IT strategy is pretty lean and flexible. We no longer host any important services on our premises. We have managed to cloudify our phone system, email (contacts, calendars etc), intranet, source control, build systems, CRM etc.
Until now, we have struggled a bit with finding a good, cloud-based file storage system. We have tried personal file systems (Dropbox, OneDrive etc), but we have found that they don’t scale well. It can be very hard to find all of the files relating to a single client since they could be spread across various team members’ file systems.
We recently cracked the last piece of our cloud jigsaw with Box (www.box.com). Box is similar to personal file systems, but is a little better suited to corporate file systems. We have set up a 1Tb account and used the excellent mover.io to shift files over from Dropbox. Box lets us store all our files under one account and then set permissions on folders to share them with other accounts. Box also has a great FTP interface which sets it apart from other systems. I needed to copy 70gb of backups from a server. The FTP interface made this very easy!
A Box business account also gives you a great Full Text search of all of your uploaded files which is very useful in an enterprise environment. We have about half a million files and it’s not always easy to find files by just browsing folders!
Although we love Box’s simple management, there are a couple of small niggles. First off, there are no security groups in our Business account. This means I have to repeated type in the same account names to share folders with the same groups of people. Secondly, you can only set permissions on top level folders! If you change the permissions on a subfolder, the permissions are actually changed on the WHOLE folder tree! This is pretty poor for a system that seems to focus strongly on corporate business.
All in all, Box is pretty great and means that we have created a great hosted environment for our office. Disaster recovery is no longer something we lose sleep over, and the team can work effectively from anywhere in the world (that has an Internet connection)!