File Sharing has been around for years (decades) now, and is deeply embedded into organizational workflows everywhere. In many organizations there are basic crude systems, with an overlay of a tacit layer of knowledge about how to use the systems to get to productivity. But Social File Sharing is taking many organisation to next level to increase productivity.

The Value:-

A lot of the enterprise’s knowledge is captured in files. As the digital end products of most of our day to day work, files are repositories of information, knowledge and insight. Unfortunately, they like locked in remote corners of the enterprise’s content store. The value challenge is to unlock the potential latent in these files, allowing people to discover files that will make them more productive, use the power of community to let the most useful files bubble up (for the entire enterprise, or specific communities) and provide ease of access through a familiar interface. The end benefit is employees who are doing more productive work, and less searching.

Social File Sharing Systems:-

They can range from basic network file shares to FTP servers to Enterprise Content Management solutions. There are many shades of solutions in the spectrum. However, for all the investment, there still is a tendency to hoard files that are required on the local hard disk, particularly so for folks on the move. Good IT infrastructures have rolled out always available, enterprise scale content management solutions and have driven adoption through the enterprise.

Implicit Knowledge:-

The tacit layer of how files get used still persists though. Which files to use, when to use a particular file, which ones are accurate and useful, what other people have found out using the file, which is the latest version .. just about anything about a file can be tacit knowledge that might have to be learned from/pried out of an experienced colleague. The more tacit info there is around files involved in a workflow, the more difficult it is for a new person to come up to speed in a role. This reduces business agility.

A good Social File Sharing solution would allow us to:

  • Version documents
  • Create a viral effect leading to discovery of documents
  • Delegate authority to share to multiple people
  • Have rich meta content about usefulness of a file as seen by a community – downloads, ratings etc.
  • Give multiple ways of organizing the files including folders, tags etc.
  • Most of the new social file sharing systems do all this and more. Unlocking the knowledge locked in your files is a good reason to go social.