Why Enterprise should choose Open Source file sharing solutions instead of Cloud providers

File sharing has always been a sensitive subject within companies. With the widespread consumer adaption of easy-to-use solutions like Dropbox and WeTransfer, employees increasingly demand more flexibility and support for sharing large files. On the other side of that debate, managers and IT staff alike struggle with their responsibility to protect sensitive information.

In many cases, the debate will either endure without resolution or eventually be postponed. Meanwhile, employees will find ways to circumvent IT security and use personal Dropbox, Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive accounts. Some may even rely on the free version of WeTransfer. They do this without realising the potential pitfall of the legal gems hidden away in lengthy Terms of Use or Privacy Policies (probably because nobody really reads those anyways), allowing company data to be used for analysis (or worse).

If you're lucky, your company has subscriptions to any of the above services or their many alternatives. Unfortunately, this still does not resolve the debate. After last weeks EU High Court ruling, the IT staff suddenly has a huge hangover. Many of these services have your data stored on servers located in the US or operated by US corporations, which basically means that for EU companies there is no guarantee your data is protected at all. No more Safe Harbour, the nifty legal escape route to avoid a lengthy discussion.

Enter on-premise solutions. They can offer companies the benefits of easy-to-use web-based file sharing whilst leveraging their own secure storage.

Unfortunately, compared to their cloud subscription counterparts, these self hosted solutions are relatively expensive. Not only do you need to create the infrastructure and provide the storage, you will also have to pay a yearly support fee (either fixed price or per-user).

There is a third option. Forget those unreliable Cloud providers and expensive proprietary software. Choose Open Source. There is a massive amount of open source solutions, especially for file sharing. It's 2015, so let's all agree that open source has a proven track record and is worth your consideration.

When it comes to file sharing, I can personally recommend YouTransfer.io.
Made in Amsterdam with ♥, YouTransfer is a simple but elegant self-hosted file transfer & sharing solution. Created to be installed behind the firewall on private servers, YouTransfer aims to empower organisations and individuals that wish to combine easy-to-use file transfer tooling with security and control. Check out the live demo or take it for a quick test drive using the Docker image.

Disclaimer: as the project creator I'm a bit biased. So please make sure to also include ProjectSend, SparkleShare and Cozy when considering your free open source alternatives.

File sharing is not rocket science. Don't believe the hype.