Cloud based services such as Dropbox and SugarSync are used by employees across multiple organizations - whether executives know it or not. Forrester analyst Ted Schadler wrote in an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal that regardless of whether the business approves of these apps, companies should try to best incorporate them to benefit employees and the organization at large. With mobile device management in place, companies should be able to better support the apps that are central to a bring your own device policy.

"Your security team will give you many reasons to shut down any of these services, particularly if it uses the cloud," he said. "But most of those reasons are transient problems, as every file sync/share vendor continually adds functionality to protect consumers and companies. Personal file sync/share solutions have become business file sync/share solutions. Your employees got there first."

With this, he said companies need to leverage this vigor employees have for new tools and let them try those solutions first. However, organizations need to be sure the apps and devices meet their security requirements, which is why these programs and devices must be accepted; the organization must know what is out there and how they can control it.

Schadler wrote that a reasonable approach for every company looking at a cloud-based sharing program should include the following:
• Figuring out what level of risk the business can tolerate and only move data that works with this philosophy
• Analyzing how employees are using these services and figure out how solutions can be made even more useful
• Securing these apps and services to be sure no data, no matter how sensitive, will leave the network

Ask questions when selecting apps
No company should select apps blindly, so ZDNet's Heather Clancy suggested companies ask a lot of questions to figure out which option will work best for the business. Issues to address beforehand include figuring out how the cloud based services will integrate with the rest of the technology the company uses, which kind of storage hardware is being used and what kind of backup or storage the company is looking to use.

"There is a big difference between services that focus on document storage and those that really center on backup, but small companies don't often differentiate —  until someone is stuck trying to recover system files that have been corrupted, lost or overwritten," she wrote, warning not to wait until it is too late to figure out these issues.