Enterprise data Management Solutions

Figure 1. Deployment topology for Microsoft IT’s implementation of the Work Folders service.

Technical Case Study

Learn how Microsoft IT is implementing Work Folders to support People-Centric IT and to improve management of sensitive data.




Products & Technologies

Microsoft IT needed to create a new data storage service that embraced people-centric IT by being simple to use and by enabling secure access to files from virtually any Windows-based device—including personal devices.

Figure 2. The streamlined Work Folder sign-up and configuration process.

Microsoft IT used Work Folders—a feature available in Windows-based clients and Windows Server 2012 R2—as the centerpiece of the organization’s new managed data storage solution that enables workers to store and access their data and synchronize it with mobile devices.

  • Improved data storage management and ease of use
  • Improved security
  • Cost savings with excellent total cost of ownership
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows-based client
  • Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) Server
  • Windows Intune

Figure 3. Work Folders as viewed through Windows Explorer.Situation

Corporations today face significant challenges protecting data in this “choose your own device” (CYOD) and “bring your own device” (BYOD) world. From the information worker standpoint, people want flexibility to determine where and how they work. They want to use the device of their choice, and they want their data to be available wherever they are. But this same drive to support BYOD can be at odds with the IT organization’s mandate to ensure that sensitive data is managed and stored properly.

Whereas enterprise IT organizations commonly impose strict data storage requirements on its employees, Microsoft Information Technology (Microsoft IT) supports a mostly unmanaged, opt-in environment that reflects the company’s culture. However, responding to user data storage requests over time has resulted in Microsoft IT providing a fragmented set of storage solutions. Although a proliferation of options gives users choices, it can also generate confusion around products and features, and increase enrollment complexity.

Microsoft IT’s existing set of storage options had limited support for non-domain-joined devices and was not able to offer extensive managed storage capacity. Furthermore, the organization was spending over $2 million per year for user data-related support, recovery, and unsecure storage purchases (such as USB drives and consumer cloud solutions).

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Where is the best place to look for data management solutions?

As the amount of data stored by a company grows and keeps on growing the problem becomes how to store, process and ultimately manage this huge amount of data. Companies can find data management solutions by researching current management practices, implementing specific software or even hiring a consulting company.