The Indiana Office of Technology (IOT) was created by the state’s General Assembly in July 2005 with a mission to provide cost-effective, secure and reliable enterprise technology services. The Office spans 100 partner agencies with nearly 30,000 government end-users across the state in order to better serve the Hoosiers taxpayers.
Like almost every modern business, the State of Indiana was facing serious issues with “shadow IT.” With the mass availability of today’s cloud applications, users no longer have to involve IT to accomplish tasks like sending a file that is too large for email or activating a new application for collaboration with colleagues, partners and suppliers. The State’s users were looking for easier and more productive tools to get their jobs done, and looking to solutions like Dropbox and other unsanctioned, cloud applications.
When IOT was evaluating file sharing and collaboration solutions, its choice ultimately needed to meet stringent security requirements, provide field agencies with mobile access to files (including offline access), offer enterprise-grade security and internal management capabilities that could ensure full control of their data, and support group-, individual-, and device-level policies and security protections. The software had to be easy to learn and even easier to use to accommodate collaboration between central offices and field employees.
The State of Indiana turned to Syncplicity for its Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing (EFSS) needs, with centralized storage and real-time data syncing that allow users to easily access, edit, and securely share files and links from their desktop and mobile devices.
“We were seeing a lot of requests for cloud storage solutions like Box and Dropbox, and even OneDrive. We blocked access to cloud-only solutions like Box and Dropbox, to maintain file and system security. Yet, we knew that it was important for IOT to offer our users an enterprise-grade solution that would give them the power of collaboration and meet the security standards we required.”
On-Premises Storage with Cloud Option – Flexibility to Grow
The State of Indiana opted for an on-premises deployment initially to ensure that sensitive state data was stored on-premises behind their firewall and was under the full control of IOT. This model was extremely important to the Executive Branch to fully protect the data of Indiana taxpayers. Now, a year later, IOT is also offering cloud storage to users for non-sensitive data.
“It was critical to our deployment to have on-premises storage, but the IT industry is changing almost daily, and having options as to where data is stored – on-premises, cloud or a mix – was not something we were expecting, and it certainly changed the conversation. We know with Syncplicity we are going to have options that allow us to tweak the solution based on our unique needs.”
Security + Collaboration
The State of Indiana is strict on security, but understands that IT can sometimes go too far locking down users – making the ‘new’ solution as challenging as the old systems. With this product, the State was able to strike a balance between security and usability. Syncplicity gives IT control with comprehensive enterprise-grade security and flexible policies to set individual permissions at the user, device, folder, and file levels, ensuring only authorized users can access any given piece of information.
Syncplicity Goes Viral
The State of Indiana (IOT) is a centralized service for 100 agencies and nearly 30,000 desktops. When they rolled out Syncplicity, their original adoption program was based on user request. Since the original rollout, IOT has increased their number of seats by 50% based on user demand. They expect to continue seeing the same kind of growth in the future.
“The surprising thing is the way the users have embraced Syncplicity. Based on our experience with rolling out new products, users don’t necessary like change. That has not been the case with Syncplicity – adoption has been viral. And, users seem to intuitively know how to use Syncplicity – it’s been really simple.”
Mobilizing Agencies in the Field & In the Office
From agencies like Family Services to the Department of Natural Resources, Syncplicity adapts to users’ workflows. Files, folders, and secure links can be shared directly from where they’re stored — there is no dragging-and-dropping to a designated folder.
Field agencies have embraced Syncplicity for easy access to files in the field and offline access in areas where there is limited bandwidth. Syncplicity’s mobile application is intuitive, and with a UI designed for easy adoption, files are easy to find, share and interact with. Syncplicity makes it easy for field workers to access the information they need to get their jobs done.
Unexpected Use Cases
Syncplicity was able to meet the original use cases outlined by IOT, but they’ve also been surprised by use cases that continually surface as they onboard new users and agencies. Below are a few use cases that highlight how Syncplicity has been used to eliminate traditional data transfer methods.
Replace FTP Servers
There is an effort to consolidate FTP servers by leveraging Syncplicity as a solution for sharing large files. For example, when sending video files, users will have the option to use Syncplicity to send their files versus FTP.
Replacement for Shared Drives
Within the IOT, project managers are using Syncplicity instead of a shared drive for managing large projects. Syncplicity gives project managers and their team the ability to access files using a mobile device and work outside the VPN – making it easier to collaborate.
Replacement for USB Drives
Prior to Syncplicity IOT would snail mail USB drives to field employees for imaging, and transferring data. This is both time consuming, and a security risk. Leveraging Syncplicity’s no file size limit, IOT is now able to send a secure link to their field employees to download any data needed to get their jobs done.