The importance of file-sharing integrations
Information management software is meant to be interactive and user-friendly, which is why modern file-sharing software is tailored to play well with other programs and supercharge your productivity cloud. Every B2B software product manager is eventually faced with the question: whether to build from scratch or integrate with an existing solution?
At Weavy we believe that the correct answer is always to integrate. There is no way around this inescapable business reality. Even the most extensive all-in-one applications have their primary focus, and source other functionality from third-party tools. The market leaders in the file-sharing space are Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, and Box, and at minimum, any worthwhile productivity app should integrate with them.
Collaboration and Improved Business Processes
You are probably already aware that your end-users are using some sort of file sharing system outside of your application. Product managers of B2B SaaS companies see the value of interoperability and are increasingly adopting pieces of their customers’ business that are already in use, rather than losing their customers' business altogether by pushing for user lock-in. You have the power to minimize the amount of time your users spend shifting through apps and keep their main focus on your platform.
Centralizing files natively allows for immediate access to relevant information, smooth and secure communication, and easy cross-platform synchronization. This centralization also makes it possible for developers to use one set of tools to create and maintain the necessary mappings between different data structures.
Saving Cost and Resources
The price of building, maintaining, and managing tools that are not the main focus of your software is costly and inefficient. Building an in-house file-sharing component requires some serious infrastructure and will realistically take 8-12 months at least. We have heard product managers mention countless times that their engineers are spread thin.
With backlogs running far and wide, limited development resources are the most commonly known challenge in the B2B SaaS world. It is necessary to prioritize primary higher-value projects on your roadmap and allocate difficult to achieve smaller priorities to third-parties.
Integrations are generally faster, more accurate, and cheaper to operate, making this type of venture worthwhile in the long run. Most, if not all, file sharing software companies have detailed documentation that your developers will utilize and appreciate. The market is in fact so large that there are DevOp shops who specialize primarily in integration work. So not only can you outsource the file tool itself, you can outsource the labor to have it setup.
Security and Error Reduction
Keeping data safe is a bigger challenge today than it has ever been. Today’s top playing file-share vendors have worked relentlessly on security processes for years. These tools may seem simple enough, but the cost involved in perfecting security processes will shock you.
Industry standards for enterprise-grade vendors include data encryption in rest and transit, password protection, identity management, two-factor authentication, artificial intelligence behavior detection, granular level permission settings, and much more. Most companies will not have the budget to research, deploy, and manage the advanced security capabilities that services like Box, DropBox, Google, and Microsoft can provide out of the box.
One of the most valuable reasons for using cloud sharing integrations is the unlimited scalability and the flexibility to scale up and down very quickly.
Developers should care about this because it provides an external home for the logic that runs the business process. Because the integration server is separate from your own application, it can be manipulated to be as elastic and dependable as your application requires.
The use-cases for file sharing and the types of applications they can benefit are spread far and wide. As I finish writing this article, I head over to Trello to share my article with Marketing. I am pleased with the accessibility Trello offers and my explanation as to why file-sharing integrations are integral to productivity and overall usability comes full circle:
Trello has amplified the value of their solution for me (their end-user) by embracing the integration mindset for enterprise software. Clearly they looked at their skills as developers and realized the path of least resistance for them and most convenience for their users was the same: integration. They're far from the outlier, and I won't be surprised to see file-sharing integrations popping up in even more productivity apps