Say goodbye to filing cabinets, for we have reached a new age. You can tell how advanced someone is technologically by how they save their files. They may do all their work on a computer, but if they print it all and store it in a box under their bed, they aren’t on the leading edge. Cloud storage has become incredibly popular in recent years, and Dropbox, led by CEO and founder Drew Houston, has been one of the best in the industry. They have just announced that they have acquired 100 million users, a staggeringly impressive number. After being on the cover of Forbes magazine last year for being an “up and coming” of the technology world, Houston has been busy creating an empire out of his company. He will soon reach 250 employees, starting this year with only 90.
Dropbox allows users to store their files on the cloud, keeping them safe in case of a computer failure or lost/stolen device. It also provides the benefit of being able to access your files from any device including smartphones, tablets laptops, or computers (PC or Mac). Dropbox has even made connections with Samsung and HTC to have their program built into every phone that they sell. Some even automatically upload pictures taken on the phone to Dropbox, saving the persons photos in case they are lost due to a lost phone or SD card failure. A billion files are being uploaded by users every 24 hours, and they are likely making somewhere around $500 million in revenues from monthly subscriptions. They do offer a free version, with a max of 2GB of space to use, but they offer ways to gain more free space by inviting your friends to Dropbox, connecting your Facebook, Twitter, or commenting on why you love their program!
Cloud storage isn’t a peaceful market, there is a lot of competition. Dropbox has had to compete with huge companies like Google, Apple, and Microsoft with their cloud storage solutions, but has still succeeded. Google Drive, Apple iCloud, and Microsoft Skydrive are just a few of the competitors that Dropbox deals with, as many others exist out there. When asked about his competition Houston said, “All these big companies are busy punching each other in the face. They’re going after each other’s’ core businesses. Google is into social networking. Facebook wants to be into search. That’s good for us. The good engineers at those companies want to go on the front lines of these galactic battles rather than in our space. That more than anything else is why we have a unique opportunity.”
Competition hasn’t been the only enemy for Dropbox. They have had a couple incidents in which security was breached by hackers, and passwords and emails were leaked out. Houston has said that they have hired extra data security personnel to help with protecting your data, so hopefully it shouldn’t be an issue in the future. Security is the number one concern of most users (and non-users) of cloud storage.
What does this mean for us in enterprise environments? It means that our worlds are colliding. More and more people are using the cloud, and not even realizing it. It’s coming standard on their phones, they are installing it on their computers. It is technology simplified. This means more employees coming into the workplace that are comfortable with the cloud, and more open to the idea of cloud based technologies.
So if you don’t use Dropbox yet, the question might be, “Why not?” Whether you use it for just backing up pictures and music, or use it like I do for working on blog posts on different devices wherever I go, it can be incredibly helpful. Why do you use Dropbox? Let us know in the comments!