Box Aims to Become More of a Platform Company in 2016

By David Needle  |  Posted 2016-01-02 Print this article Print
Aaron Levie, Box CEO

CIOs were starting to realize the world was changing with the rise of bring-your-own-device and mobile technologies, in general, that let employees work from any device in or out of the office. "It was clear the enterprise was going to be much more about consumer-grade solutions for end-user productivity and applications," said Levie. "That led to the use of apps like Workday, ServiceNow and Office 365."

An Enterprise Platform Strategy Emerges

It also created an opportunity for Box. "In that new architecture, what is the content-management platform?" asked Levie, rhetorically. "The traditional content-management players like Sharepoint, Documentum and Filenet and EMC on the storage side—those players didn't adapt quickly enough to being a cloud solution, so Box started to make more sense as the enterprise-wide platform for modern content management."

Box has been riding that strategy of being a content-management platform designed to solve everything from end-user file sharing to business collaboration, ever since. Levie noted that another key aspect of the strategy is keeping Box as an open platform on top of which enterprises and third parties can develop.

"A CIO moving his or her company to the cloud needs a content-management platform that works across your business—that's the role we're filling in the enterprise," he said.

Security as Cloud Computing's Trump Card?

While the adoption of cloud computing has been steadily growing, the on-premise data center is still well-established in most enterprises. Security is often cited as one of IT's top concerns when it comes to moving to the cloud, but Levie said that attitude is changing—or should be.

"Security concerns were an inhibitor two or three years ago, but that was mostly for perception reasons rather than architectural," Levie said. "Now, I would say one of the biggest accelerants to cloud adoption is the fact that enterprises in every industry are realizing that they do not have the ability to secure all their data in their on-prem environments. What's happening is they are experiencing mass data leakage because the tools their employees are using do not have the analytics, monitoring, auditing and data-loss prevention capabilities on them. As a result, we are having conversations with every major retail bank, every major investment bank, life sciences firms and nearly every major government agency because they are recognizing that Box is going to be a more secure place to manage their content than on an on-prem environment."

There is, of course, no ultimate security architecture, and Levie conceded that even the major cloud providers could be breached. But he argued that cloud computing is a much better investment than an on-premise data center.

"If you're a CIO who wants to last and be innovative in the future, you are not going to make new investments in on-prem IT models; it just doesn't make any sense," Levie said. "All of the momentum is in the opposite direction. A couple of years from now there won't even be software companies investing in their products for the on-prem world, and at some point, you're not going to get any innovation there."


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