Email is not the primary source of electronic content that most organizations store. Instead, files - content like word processing documents, spreadsheets, presentations and a wide variety of user-generated content - are the most pervasive type of content retained in the typical organization. A major survey conducted by Osterman Research, as well as another Osterman Research survey of small, mid-sized and large organizations, found that nearly one-half of the typical organization's electronic content is stored on file servers (used to store electronic files, such as documents, videos, images, databases, etc.), while the second major source of content is email systems.
The majority of files in most companies are stored on IT-managed file servers, but many files are created and stored "in the wild" - i.e., on devices and in applications that are not always under the direct control of IT. These file-generating sources include mobile devices like smartphones and tablets (both employer-supplied and personally owned), social media sites and the like. Moreover, a significant percentage of many organizations' files reside in repositories that are deployed and managed by individual users, such as Dropbox, Box.net, Skydrive, Google Drive, Google Docs and other cloud-based repositories. For example, an Osterman Research study of the BYOD phenomenon found that a large proportion of users employ personally owned mobile devices for work-related purposes.
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