There’s a lot to like about file sharing SaaS apps like Dropbox. Why?
- They are super simple to use
- They enable “anywhere” access
- The cost typically scales with the number of users/no large upfront
- Support and maintenance need is typically pretty low
This makes these types of solutions ideal for startups and small companies. However, there should be an understanding about what going all-in on these services could mean.
Scenario 1: The Reseller Account
Have you purchased Dropbox through a reseller? Let’s say you have. For whatever reason, you desire to no longer be affiliated with the reseller, but desire to continue using Dropbox, paying them directly.
You may be surprised to find that as of this writing, Dropbox doesn’t have a great option for a migrating reseller accounts. It’s advised to cancel the account on the reseller side. This disables sync for all users. It would then be necessary for the client to sign into Dropbox and reactivate the account..and after a few days, things will start working again.
Really? Yep. Oh, and there’s no refund for the cancelled reseller account. Sorry. Oh, and you have to setup teams again and re-share files. Fun.
Let’s look at another scenario…
Scenario 2: Dropbox Getting Crypto’d
Let’s say you have Dropbox users in your organization mounting their Dropbox folder as a drive…then they click the wrong email link and have Cryptolocker. This is just one scenario where data loss could occur.
What’s the recovery of Dropbox look like? Well, if all computers have synced the encrypted files, you’ll be submitting a support request to recover your data. Ok…that’s not unreasonable. But the recovery time…what would the downtime mean for your business? I’ve heard of it taking days. DAYS. Not so great, right?
So am I suggesting not to use Dropbox? Certainly not. I think solutions like this are great as part of a file sharing stack, and consider these services as a tier of storage. The most critical of files that don’t have a clear need for mobility ideally should be handled differently.
In the smallest of scenarios where there aren’t tiers of storage, Dropbox can be perfectly fine. Just know that an undesirable transition or unfortunate down time could occur as you’re just a user, not an owner of the platform.