In 2017 we started to research the Cloud File Migration sector (CFM). At the time, it was a labor of love. We were the first analyst firm to cover the sector, and there was a good chance (still is) that we would be the last. Tools to migrate files to the Cloud are plentiful (we looked at over 50 of them), but without exception, these are all niche and small vendors running entirely under the radar. It’s a paradox, as the push to the Cloud by Content Management and broader Business Application vendors has been relentless for over a decade. Yet few have ever taken a step back to figure out how exactly that move is supposed to happen. In our conversations with large firms in Media, Financial Services, and Healthcare, we heard the same refrain, “We have always avoided doing before this because its too risky, expensive, and complicated.” It typically takes a significant and unexpected event to prompt anyone to tackle the mountains of legacy on-premises file server and document management systems and move them to the Cloud. We also talked to many enterprises that had undertaken large file migrations. In almost all cases, these firms were unaware that there were tools to support this work available or much choice.
A couple of weeks ago, Box announced a deal with CloudFastPath, late in 2019, Microsoft acquired Mover, and we published analyst notes on our website. What happened next caught us by surprise; it rapidly became the most read and shared Analyst Note of the past year, by a wide margin at that. With all due respect to the CFP team, this was a firm few had heard of previously. So the interest generated is surely due to the topic, File Migration. Back to that paradox, technology vendors are desperate for you to move your file mountains to their clouds, you the enterprise, see the logic but are wary of the move itself and the risks it may involve. Ergo we have an impasse. The irony is that many tools on the market can safely manage these migrations and cost-effectively. But nobody knows about them.
We have a new report available on our website today that explains this sector and provides some practical advice to buyers and implementors, and we think it’s a pretty good report at that. As it’s a topic we know a lot about. I genuinely hope it will provide some much-needed guidance to you if you are looking to undertake a serious file migration. But it’s a lonely report, as there is very little practical advice out there beyond this report. And though I sound like a broken record, there is a need for much more education in the marketplace; if people don’t know, they don’t know; it’s as simple as that. The CFM vendors themselves are typically too small and invisible to do much about the situation. The big cloud application vendors that need these migrations to grow and survive are far from invisible and should do much more. Hence, the spark plug analogy, a shiny Ferrari, is a great thing to market and sell, but it doesn’t run without a spark plug. CFM vendors are the spark plugs to grow file-based cloud applications, nobody gives them much attention, but without them, nothing happens.
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