Competition in data storage industry prompts organizational change

Cloud storage service providers are learning firsthand the challenges of going head-to-head with market leaders Amazon and Google. Organizations such as Dropbox, Hightail and Box, who were pioneers of the service, now face the decision of whether to pivot their ideas or be pushed out by the low prices of their mammoth-sized competition. 

"These guys will drive prices to zero," Aaron Levie, co-founder and chief executive of Box told The New York Times. "You do not want to wait for Google or Amazon to keep cutting prices on you. 'Free' is not a business model."

Innovation is what brought these organizations to success originally, and it seems that further innovation is what will keep them afloat. Demand for secure data storage is growing, but Amazon and Google have trampled competition in recent years as the pair increases focus on cloud computing and analytics. Google cut its prices 68 percent in March, while Amazon has cut prices at least four times since 2008.

In response, Box is pivoting their model to address the special requirements of certain data, such as medical documentation and X-rays, that need to remain secure to protect patient privacy. Hightail is taking a similar strategy, though targeted at law firms. Dropbox, which currently has 300 million customers worldwide, is working to make their service even more intuitive and easy to use than the competition. 

With any period of change, it can be beneficial to enlist above-the-fray expertise that is not entrenched in the organization's set processes. This means retaining organizational change management consultants with experience in preparing a large workforce for transition, and having experienced change agents on hand to address employee concerns and make sure that the organization is headed for a bright future.