Industry Insights

Digitally dexterous consumers: Trends in digital file and data sharing blog series part 2

digital file and data sharing

The market for Content Collaboration is changing. In fact, it has changed. One of the trends we have seen coming from our customers is around using APIs to customize content experiences by centralizing and protecting data using Syncplicity hybrid cloud and our APIs.

One of the most popular use cases we see emerging is providing consumers (our customer’s customers and partners) with secure digital access to data for sharing and collaborating. This leads us to my second blog in the series, “Trends in Digital File and Data Sharing”—Consumer trends and digital data the “digitally dexterous consumer.”

Digitally dexterous consumers

The majority of customer experiences to date have been focused on shopping experiences or one-dimensional exchanges. As digital consumers mature, they are expecting a more dynamic engagement and collaboration. The customer “experience” is moving beyond a one-dimensional process. It will be modern, agile, fluid and secure.

It is not just about buying – single transactions – but creating a digital relationship. This requires collaboration and trust. When you think of digital leaders, one that comes to mind is Nike. They have gone from being an innovator of athletic shoes–starting with running–to specializing in clothing and now digital engagement. They know their customers. Another company that is innovating is BMW, with ConnectedDrive—a program that allows owners to connect digitally with nearly every aspect of their vehicle. Both companies realize that consumers need more than one-dimensional transactions, but a connection to the brand.

When we kicked off the research with Vanson Bourne, one of the areas that I was very interested in was…

What are the respondents seeing from their ‘customers’ or consumers in terms of – expected digital experiences, data and types of data. And, if that data supports what we are seeing from our customers and the analysts.

Overall, it appears as if we are still in the dark ages in terms of offering experiences. But this will change quickly and organizations should be preparing, as consumers’ expectations will appear to shift overnight.

Sharing information with consumers

One of the first questions we had for our audience of IT and Line of Business is: How does your organization share information with consumers (citizens, patients)? What surfaced is that 55% of respondents say they share data via email and 41% share via hard copy. Additionally, in the other data point, four out of 10 consumers expect their data via email.

Email is inherently insecure

Let’s take a second and soak that in—email and hard copy. Not only does this create complexity for the organizations—from centralizing, protecting and auditing, but it’s also outside the organization’s control. When an email is sent, it travels across a series of networks and servers to reach the recipient, in human-readable text.

The question—would you send your private mail in a clear envelope? 

Globally, across both line of business and IT, respondents are clear that data security and protection is critical to their organization’s compliance, yet –the majority continue to utilize risky sharing options. 

Recognize a need for Easier & Quicker Access

Ninety-four of all respondents across IT and the line of business agree that customers are increasingly requesting easier and quicker access to their data, and 84% agree that their organizations need a quicker way to provide customers/patients with data.

Regardless of the exact promises or legal requirements, 50% of IT professionals believe that their organization’s customers want access to their data in real-time and in the US, it’s closer to 60%.

Consumer Demand for digital data is growing

The amount of data being shared is growing annually. Respondents are reporting an increase in the amount of data being shared digitally, indicating the pressure for organizations to share continues to grow. This can potentially lead to an increase in risk unless there is a change in sharing practices. On average, 59% of data is shared digitally.


The requirements by consumers for digital data is growing, notably in certain verticals, yet the means by which organizations are sharing the data is lagging in terms of innovation—email, hard copy, FTP, while also putting organizations at risk—in terms of compliance and security.

Based on what we are seeing, we believe what our customers and the analysts covering the market are saying, that there will be:

  • A continued need for consumers (patients, citizens) to access digital data,
  • More custom experiences based on the consumer,
  • Ensuring security and data protection for both the organization and consumer.

If you are interested in seeing an example, join our What’s New What’s Next Webinar on February 13th to see the Secure Digital Vault in action or contact us for a one-on-one demo.

Read part one in Kristi’s blog series: Trends in digital file and data: An introduction.